The treatment of patients with metastasizing melanoma, still one of the most deadly diseases in modern medicine, ranks among the greatest challenges that a clinician has to face. Metastatic melanoma also is one of the most profound sources of clinical frustration, since it provides far more ultimately defeating experiences than clinical victories. At the same time, the fascinating biology of melanoma has invited the study of this neuroectodermal tumor as a model system for dissecting many of the key problems of modern oncology, ranging from molecular oncogenesis via the controls of tumor proliferation, apoptosis, invasion, metastasis, and angiogenesis to tumor immunosurveillance and tumor drug resistance. Together with the dire need to develop more effective treatment modalities for improving both life expectancy and quality of life of affected patients, this has made metastatic melanoma a favorite model for the exploration of innovative strategies for tumor management. Encouragingly, many of these have already generated very promising results in animal models. However, this impressive level of research progress in conquering melanoma in the animal room contrasts rather pitifully with the actual progress made on the ward. This CONTROVERSIES feature, therefore, critically and soberly reviews the state of the art of treating metastatic melanoma today (distinguishing between nodal and distant metastases), and sharply defines unresolved or comparatively neglected key problems. In addition, this feature highlights several novel, provocative, hitherto underappreciated, yet potentially promising treatment approaches that deserve systematic exploration. Hopefully, this will offer further inspiration for the design and pursuit of innovative anti-melanoma strategies off-the-beaten-track.
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2000|
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