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Oncol Lett. 2013 Feb;5(2):424-426. Epub 2012 Dec 5.

The evolution in melanoma treatment as a reflection of precision-oriented medicine.

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1
Department of Oncology, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Tel Aviv 64239, Israel.

Abstract

Until recently, metastatic melanoma was a disease with limited treatment options and a poor prognosis. Dacarbazine was accepted as the standard treatment for melanoma in the 1970s, and despite inducing an overall survival of approximately 7.4 months, it remained so until relatively recently. In the last few years, significant advances in the molecular understanding of this disease have facilitated the development of novel and promising drugs. Precision-oriented medicine is currently revolutionizing the practice of oncology. Targeted therapies have demonstrated great potential in treating melanoma and various other types of cancer, including breast, colorectal and non-small cell lung cancer. Here, we review the evolution of melanoma treatment from single-agent chemotherapy to combination therapy, the emergence of immunotherapy in melanoma and the development of targeted therapies, such as the use of the BRAF inhibitor as a treatment agent. The ability to treat melanoma according to the fingerprint of the tumor reflects an overall change in the practice of oncology.

KEYWORDS:

BRAF inhibitor; melanoma; precision medicine; treatment

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