Melanoma pathophysiology and drug targets

Giuseppe Palmieri, Carla Rozzo, Giusy Gentilcore, Paolo Antonio Ascierto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In fair-skinned populations, both incidence and mortality rates of melanoma have been increasing over the past decades. Melanoma incidence has been found to vary according to the population's origin, with the highest rates in Australia, the USA and North Europe. A combination of an intermittent exposure to UV radiation with endogenous factors, such as a light phototype, higher number of nevi and family history for melanoma increases the risk of the disease. Although several genetic and molecular alterations have been identified, pathogenesis of melanoma is mostly due to a sequence of interactions between key effectors in three molecular pathways: CDKN2A (with a role in both susceptibility and tumorigenesis), MAPK and PI3K/AKT. Demonstration that a complex molecular scenario underlies development and progression of the disease confirms the existence of several distinct subtypes of melanoma and, therefore, distinct subsets of patients with putative differences in tumor behavior (which may determine a wide range of variations in prognosis and response to therapy).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmerging Therapeutics for Melanoma
PublisherFuture Medicine Ltd.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781780840321, 9781780841168
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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