The prognosis of patients with metastatic melanoma has substantially improved over the last years with the advent of novel treatment strategies, mainly immune checkpoint inhibitors and BRAF and MEK inhibitors. Given the survival benefit provided in the metastatic setting and the evidence from prospective clinical trials in the early stages, these drugs have been introduced as adjuvant therapies for high-risk resected stage III disease. Several studies have also investigated immune checkpoint inhibitors, as well as BRAF and MEK inhibitors, for neoadjuvant treatment of high-risk stage III melanoma, with preliminary evidence suggesting this could be a very promising approach in this setting. However, even with new strategies, the risk of disease recurrence varies widely among stage III patients, and no available biomarkers for predicting disease recurrence have been established to date. Improved risk stratification is particularly relevant in this setting to avoid unnecessary treatment for patients who have minimum risk of disease recurrence and to reduce toxicities and costs. Research for predictive and prognostic biomarkers in this setting is ongoing to potentially shed light on the complex interplay between the tumor and the host immune system, and to further personalize treatment. This review provides an insight into available data on circulating and tissue biomarkers, including the tumor microenvironment and associated gene signatures, and their predictive and prognostic role during neoadjuvant and adjuvant treatment for cutaneous high-risk melanoma patients.
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