Melanoma remains a significant health concern worldwide, with disease incidence continuing to rise over the past four decades. In the USA alone in 2016, the American Cancer Society estimates that 76,380 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed, with 10,130 patients succumbing to this disease. Although early stages of the disease are surgically curable and adjuvant therapy of high-risk disease is moderately effective in preventing recurrence, advanced-stage, metastatic melanoma has historically exhibited poor durable response rates to existing therapy options and high disease-associated fatality rates. The landscape of first-line treatment options for advanced-stage IIIB–IV melanoma patients has been radically altered over the past decade with the advent of targeted small molecule inhibitors (SMIs; i.e., BRAFi, MEKi) and immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICB; i.e., antagonist antibodies against CTLA4, PD1 or PD-L1). SMIs have demonstrated profound, yet often transient, antitumor efficacy in the clinical setting, with the majority of treated patients ultimately developing treatment-refractory progressive disease.
Read the full article here in Melanoma Management.