Neoangiogenesis in Melanoma: An Issue in Biology and Systemic Treatment.

Davide Quaresmini, Michele Guida

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Neoangiogenesis is a recognized hallmark of cancer, granting tumor cells to dispose of metabolic substrates through a newly created vascular supply. Neoangiogenesis was also confirmed in melanoma, where vascular proliferation is associated with increased aggressiveness and poorer prognosis. Furthermore, melanoma cells show the so-called vascular mimicry, consisting in the assumption of endothelial-like features inducing the expression of pro-angiogenic receptors and ligands, which take part in the interplay with extracellular matrix (ECM) components and are potentiated by the ECM remodeling and the barrier molecule junction alterations that characterize the metastatic phase. Although neoangiogenesis was biologically proven and clinically associated with worse outcomes in melanoma patients, in the past anti-angiogenic therapies were employed with poor improvement of the already unsatisfactory results associated with chemotherapic agents. Among the novel therapies of melanoma, immunotherapy has led to previously unexpected outcomes of treatment, yet there is a still strong need for potentiating the results, possibly by new regimens of combination therapies. Molecular models in many cancer types showed mutual influences between immune responses and vascular normalization. Recently, clinical trials are investigating the efficacy of the association between anti-angiogenetic agents and immune-checkpoint inhibitors to treat advanced stage melanoma. This paper reviews the biological bases of angiogenesis in melanoma and summarizes the currently available clinical data on the use of anti-angiogenetic compounds in melanoma.

Original languageEnglish
Article number584903
JournalFront. Immunol.
Publication statusPublished - Oct 29 2020

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