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ECCO 2017 | Developments in melanoma – new treatment options

Dirk Schadendorf, MD, PhD, from the University Hospital Essen, Essen, Germany, discusses developments in melanoma treatment at the European Cancer Congress of the European Cancer Organisation (ECCO) 2017 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He describes how epidemiological data suggest that while the incidence of melanoma is increasing by 5% each year, a 25% decrease in melanoma-related mortality is expected by 2050. Prof. Schadendorf suggests factors which will be important in achieving this, particularly prevention and early detection, which is linked to access to the healthcare system including dermatologists to allow early diagnosis. Currently, interferon alpha is used as adjuvant therapy, however, several new drugs have shown promising results, both immune checkpoint inhibitors such as ipilimumab and next-generation PD-1 antibodies pembrolizumab and nivolumab, as well as targeted therapies for patients with BRAF mutations. As these therapies are novel, the full extent of their effects will only become apparent in the next years.