Review

The melanoma revolution: From UV carcinogenesis to a new era in therapeutics

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Science  21 Nov 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6212, pp. 945-949
DOI: 10.1126/science.1253735

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Abstract

Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is an aggressive disease that is rising in incidence. Although melanoma is a historically treatment-resistant malignancy, in recent years unprecedented breakthroughs in targeted therapies and immunotherapies have revolutionized the standard of care for patients with advanced disease. Here, we provide an overview of recent developments in our understanding of melanoma risk factors, genomics, and molecular pathogenesis and how these insights have driven advances in melanoma treatment. In addition, we review benefits and limitations of current therapies and look ahead to continued progress in melanoma prevention and therapy. Remarkable achievements in the field have already produced a paradigm shift in melanoma treatment: Metastatic melanoma, once considered incurable, can now be treated with potentially curative rather than palliative intent.

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