Pathways to Melanoma

Melanoma is one of the most aggressive and yet poorly understood of human malignancies. Advances in genomics has allowed a more nuanced understanding of the disease, moving beyond the traditional dysplastic nevus-to-melanoma model and identifying multiple divergent oncogenic pathways leading to melanoma. An understanding of the molecular mechanisms driving melanoma has opened the doors for the development of targeted therapeutic approaches. As we enter the era of personalized medicine, it will be critical for clinicians to both appreciate and be able to determine the molecular profile of their patients’ melanoma because this profile will guide risk stratification, genetic counseling, and treatment customization. A review of the divergent pathways of melanoma development is presented here, with a particular emphasis on recently identified mutations, and their implications for patient care.
Semin Cutan Med Surg 29:210-217 © 2010 Published by Elsevier Inc.

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