Safety profiles and pharmacovigilance considerations for recently patented anticancer drugs: Cutaneous melanoma

Debora Basile, Camilla Lisanti, Maria A. Pizzichetta, Paolo Baldo, Giulia Fornasier, Francesco Lo Re, Giuseppe Corona, Fabio Puglisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Malignant melanoma is a skin cancer responsible for 90% of cutaneous cancer- related deaths. In recent years, breakthroughs in treatment strategy have revolutionized the prognosis in both early and advanced melanoma patients. In particular, treatment with monoclonal antibodies targeting co-inhibitory checkpoints or specific molecular pathways leads to a new era of promising options, by prolonging the survival time of these patients. Moreover, unlike the chemotherapy that was used until some time ago, these new drugs have a good and more manageable toxicity profile. However, because of the recent introduction in clinical practice of the new agents, there is a learning curve among physicians regarding early recognition and management of the associated side effects. Objectives: The analysis of the toxicity profiles of the different agents currently studied for the treatment of early and advanced melanoma, and the description of several relevant recent patents in this field, are the aims of this review. Methods: This is a systematically conducted review based on current clinical guidelines and on international Pharmacovigilance databases (AERS-Eudravigilance - WHO Vigibase). Results: Our systematic analysis outlines a comprehensive overview of the pharmacology, clinical application and the safety of recent anticancer drugs to treat melanoma, which can be an essential instrument for health professionals and researchers. Conclusion: The new oncological therapies against melanoma are based on increasingly specific biological and immunological targets. For this reason, the potential toxicities that are expected from patients would be less relevant than the systemic “classical” chemotherapy. However, the new therapies are not free from the risk of causing adverse reactions, some of which must be managed promptly and appropriately; moreover, the multiplicity of the metabolic pathways exposes the new target therapies to relevant potential interactions. This review can help to understand how important it is not to underestimate potential adverse drug reactions related to new targeted therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-225
Number of pages23
JournalRecent Patents on Anti-Cancer Drug Discovery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Adjuvant melanoma
  • Advanced melanoma
  • Adverse drug reactions
  • Drug-related toxicity
  • Immunotherapy
  • Pharmacovigilance
  • Side effects
  • Targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Cancer Research
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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