ESMO E-Learning: New Treatment Options in Advanced Melanoma

Learning Objectives

  • To understand key signaling pathways dysregulated in melanoma patients and mechanisms of actions of new agents targeting these disruptions.
  • To provide an update on efficacy and toxicity data of the new therapies in melanoma patients.
  • To understand the issues surrounding the treatment of patients with advanced melanoma and put latest data into clinical context.
Reinhard Dummer
Reinhard Georg Dummer
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After decades of phase III trials failing to demonstrate the impact on survival of various drugs in patients with advanced melanoma, researchers have started to uncover that melanoma is actually many different diseases, each with its own unique biology. It has been over a decade since the last therapy became available for melanoma patients. Finally there are some breakthroughs. Researchers are working to translate the understanding of biology mechanisms into meaningful therapies and the wave of clinical trials based on novel strategies in melanoma patients is ongoing.

The identification of novel molecular and immunologic pathways presents a rich environment for drug development. Novel ways to modulate the immune system by monoclonal antibodies, as well as various signalling pathway inhibitors, create a whole new therapeutic landscape in melanoma. This E-Learning module, besides presenting a clinical discussion on the use of adjuvant interferon-alpha, gives an overview on current developments in the clinical research of melanoma and highlights the most important new drugs portfolio. In particular the module covers critical breakthrough treatments in patients with advanced stage melanoma - the anti-CTLA-4 Antibody ipilimumab and the highly selective BRAF inhibitors.

Melanoma is the prototype of successful translational research. The fruits of this endeavour can only be realized by continued progress in understanding melanoma at its most fundamental level. Various new combinations will have to be explored and it is reasonable to expect synergies between the different classes of drugs as well as between novel molecules within the same class of drugs.

Download the presentation (PDF)

This E-Learning module was published in 2011 and expired in 2013.

Last update: 24 June 2011

The author has reported to be involved in projects for Bristol-Myers Squibb, ROCHE, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis