New prognostic factors and developing therapy of cutaneous melanoma

Ann Med. 2003;35(2):66-78. doi: 10.1080/07853890310009980.


The multiple molecular alterations underlying the neoplastic process and clinical characteristics of cutaneous melanoma are currently under intensive investigation. Recent studies have demonstrated that the levels of melanoma-associated proteins in tumor tissue or in patient serum can serve as new markers to predict disease outcome. Similarly, the expression of thousands of genes in melanoma tumors can be surveyed simultaneously using DNA arrays, allowing molecular profiling of individual tumors, which gives the possibility of classifying melanomas based on their biological diversity. Large clinical studies have also identified multiple prognostic factors, such as tumor ulceration, and led to development of a new, more precise melanoma staging system, which emphasizes the biological characteristics of the primary disease. These new findings may have an important role in earlier measurement of the clinical response and provide a basis for tailored melanoma therapy, the development of which will also be discussed in this review.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Chemokines / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronan Receptors / blood
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Integrins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Integrins / metabolism
  • MART-1 Antigen
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / blood
  • Melanoma / blood
  • Melanoma / genetics*
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Melanoma / therapy*
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase / blood
  • Neoplasm Proteins / blood
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Nerve Growth Factors / blood
  • Prognosis
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein beta Subunit
  • S100 Proteins / blood
  • Skin Neoplasms / blood
  • Skin Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / therapy*


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Chemokines
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Hyaluronan Receptors
  • Integrins
  • MART-1 Antigen
  • MIA protein, human
  • MLANA protein, human
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein beta Subunit
  • S100 Proteins
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases