Targeting drivers of melanoma with synthetic small molecules and phytochemicals

Academic Article

Abstract

  • © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Melanoma is the least common form of skin cancer, but it is responsible for the majority of skin cancer deaths. Traditional therapeutics and immunomodulatory agents have not shown much efficacy against metastatic melanoma. Agents that target the RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK (MAPK) signaling pathway - the BRAF inhibitors vemurafenib and dabrafenib, and the MEK1/2 inhibitor trametinib - have increased survival in patients with metastatic melanoma. Further, the combination of dabrafenib and trametinib has been shown to be superior to single agent therapy for the treatment of metastatic melanoma. However, resistance to these agents develops rapidly. Studies of additional agents and combinations targeting the MAPK, PI3K/AKT/mTOR (PI3K), c-kit, and other signaling pathways are currently underway. Furthermore, studies of phytochemicals have yielded promising results against proliferation, survival, invasion, and metastasis by targeting signaling pathways with established roles in melanomagenesis. The relatively low toxicities of phytochemicals make their adjuvant use an attractive treatment option. The need for improved efficacy of current melanoma treatments calls for further investigation of each of these strategies. In this review, we will discuss synthetic small molecule inhibitors, combined therapies and current progress in the development of phytochemical therapies.
  • Published In

  • Cancer Letters  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Strickland LR; Pal HC; Elmets CA; Afaq F
  • Start Page

  • 20
  • End Page

  • 35
  • Volume

  • 359
  • Issue

  • 1