Chemotherapy for melanoma – why is it not effective and what is its future?

Paul Lorigan, MB, BCH, BAO, BA, FRCP of the University of Manchester, Manchester, UK, discusses the problem of chemotherapy for treating melanoma at the 2016 World Congress of the Skin (EADO) in Vienna, Austria. Melanoma is very resistant and has a number of drug resistant mechanisms. There has been various appproaches to target the resistant mechanisms, for example to block DNA repair. However, these drugs have not been very effective. Although there have been a number of promising early studies, they have not followed through on larger studies. He goes on to explain that he beleives it is very unlikely there will be significant advances in chemotherapy for melanoma unless there is an advance in general chemotherapy with a new class of drugs being developed. He beleives that rather than chemotherapy, newer therapies such as immunotherapy and targeted therapy, is where the progress is likely to come from.

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