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Tumor Microenvironment: Implications In Melanoma Resistance To Targeted Therapy And Immunotherapy

I. Falcone, F. Conciatori, C. Bazzichetto, G. Ferretti, F. Cognetti, L. Ciuffreda, M. Milella
Published 2020 · Medicine

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Simple Summary The response to pharmacological treatments is deeply influenced by the tight interactions between the tumor cells and the microenvironment. In this review we describe, for melanoma, the most important mechanisms of resistance to targeted therapy and immunotherapy mediated by the components of the microenvironment. In addition, we briefly describe the most recent therapeutic advances for this pathology. The knowledge of molecular mechanisms, which are underlying of drug resistance, is fundamental for the development of new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of melanoma patients. Abstract Antitumor therapies have made great strides in recent decades. Chemotherapy, aggressive and unable to discriminate cancer from healthy cells, has given way to personalized treatments that, recognizing and blocking specific molecular targets, have paved the way for targeted and effective therapies. Melanoma was one of the first tumor types to benefit from this new care frontier by introducing specific inhibitors for v-Raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B (BRAF), mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK), v-kit Hardy–Zuckerman 4 feline sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KIT), and, recently, immunotherapy. However, despite the progress made in the melanoma treatment, primary and/or acquired drug resistance remains an unresolved problem. The molecular dynamics that promote this phenomenon are very complex but several studies have shown that the tumor microenvironment (TME) plays, certainly, a key role. In this review, we will describe the new melanoma treatment approaches and we will analyze the mechanisms by which TME promotes resistance to targeted therapy and immunotherapy.
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