Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer owing to its metastatic potential and is an important public health concern. The melanoma incidence has been increasing worldwide. Although potentially curable when diagnosed early, metastatic melanoma carries a poor prognosis. Until recently, systemic therapy for metastatic melanoma was ineffective, but the recent successes in the development of new therapies for metastatic melanoma, such as mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway inhibitors, antiecytotoxic T-lymphocyteeassociated antigen-4 (CTLA-4), and programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1)/programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) pathway blocking antibodies, as well as combination strategies of cytotoxic chemotherapy and inhibitors of angiogenesis, have all yielded promising results, changing the continually evolving landscape of therapeutic options for patients with this disease. The aim of this review was to summarize the evolution of and recent advances in the treatment of metastatic melanoma. Therefore, we conducted a comprehensive PubMed search between January 1, 1960, and February 1, 2014, using the search term melanoma or metastatic melanoma combined with terms such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, CTLA-4, PD-1, PD-L1, adoptive T cell, targeted therapy, MAPK, molecular biology, and survival.
ASJC Scopus subject areas