Management of melanoma

Br Med Bull. 2014 Sep;111(1):149-62. doi: 10.1093/bmb/ldu019.


Background: Melanoma is a potentially curable cancer, but around 20% of patients will develop disease which is beyond surgical clearance. Rising incidence alongside breakthroughs in understanding the molecular biology of this disease identifying systemic therapies offering survival gains now demand a more proactive, integrated approach to melanoma management.

Sources of data: PubMed references relating to aspects of melanoma research and treatment.

Areas of agreement: Rapidly rising incidence throughout the world. Effective surgery as well as new molecular targeted systemic biological agents and immunotherapies necessitating early diagnosis and multidisciplinary therapeutic interventions.

Areas of controversy: Role of screening and prevention. Benefit of interventions for locoregional melanoma, including role of sentinel lymph node biopsy. Integration and sequencing of treatments for unresectable melanoma.

Growing points: Molecular determinants of melanoma influencing disease outcome and treatment decisions.

Areas timely for developing research: Education and training of patient and healthcare professionals. Role of screening, surveillance and follow-up strategies. Biology of melanoma guiding treatment decisions.

Keywords: advanced melanoma; diagnosis; epidemiology; melanoma; metastatic melanoma; prevention; primary melanoma; screening; treatment.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods
  • Melanoma / epidemiology
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Melanoma / secondary
  • Melanoma / therapy*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy
  • Skin Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / therapy*


  • Antineoplastic Agents