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30-10-2015 | Skin cancers | Article

The Future of Molecular Analysis in Melanoma: Diagnostics to Direct Molecularly Targeted Therapy

Journal:
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology

Authors: Hugo Akabane, Ryan J. Sullivan

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

Abstract

Melanoma is a malignancy of pigment-producing cells that is driven by a variety of genetic mutations and aberrations. In most cases, this leads to upregulation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway through activating mutations of upstream mediators of the pathway including BRAF and NRAS. With the advent of effective MAPK pathway inhibitors, including the US FDA-approved BRAF inhibitors vemurafenib and dabrafenib and MEK inhibitor trametinib, molecular analysis has become an integral part of the care of patients with metastatic melanoma. In this article, the key molecular targets and strategies to inhibit these targets therapeutically are presented, and the techniques of identifying these targets, in both tissue and blood, are discussed.

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