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27-07-2017 | Melanoma | Book chapter | Article

17. Liquid Biopsies in Malignant Melanoma: From Bench to Bedside

Authors: Estíbaliz Alegre, Leyre Zubiri, Juan Pablo Fusco, Natalia Ramírez, Álvaro González, Ignacio Gil-Bazo

Publisher: Springer International Publishing


Malignant melanoma is a malignant tumour originated from melanocytic cells and primarily involves the skin. However, it can also arise from the extracutaneous melanocytes located in the eye and mucosal surfaces. An increasing incidence of cutaneous melanoma in white population has been observed during the last decades. In Europe, the incidence is 10–15 new cases per 100,000 subjects annually and in the USA rises up to 18 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. However, the highest incidence has been reported in Australian and New Zealand population, with 40–60 cases per 100,000 inhabitants annually.
The current therapeutic armamentarium against malignant melanoma has recently incorporated new standards of care through the development of targeted therapies and new immunotherapy approaches. Tumour biomarkers are valuable tools to significantly improve treatment efficacy and minimize the cost by selecting the right treatment for the proper patient.
In this new scenario, serological tumour markers should be reviewed. Among them, potential circulating biomarkers such as cell-free DNA, exosomes, microRNA and circulating tumour cells have been identified.
In this chapter, we will summarize classical and emerging tumour markers of clinical value in malignant melanoma and discuss their potential applicability in the selection and monitoring of emerging targeted therapeutics.

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