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Semin Oncol. 2012 Apr;39(2):204-14. doi: 10.1053/j.seminoncol.2012.01.008.

The current state of targeted therapy in melanoma: this time it's personal.

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The Programs of Cutaneous Oncology and Molecular Oncology, The Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL 33612, USA.


Treatment of metastatic melanoma has long been a challenge. Over the past 8 years significant advances have been made in understanding the genetic changes that drive melanoma development and progression. These studies have shown melanoma to be a heterogeneous group of tumors, driven by a diverse array of oncogenic mutations. There is now good evidence that activating mutations in the serine/threonine kinase BRAF and the receptor tyrosine kinase KIT constitute good therapeutic targets for restricted subgroups of melanoma. In this article, we discuss the genetics and etiology of cutaneous and noncutaneous melanoma and review some of the latest preclinical and clinical data on the new targeted therapy agents that are beginning to make an impact on the lives of melanoma patients.

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