Systemic treatment of cutaneous and mucosal melanoma

Systemic treatment of cutaneous and mucosal melanoma

On behalf co-editors, Drs. Antonio Buzaid, Jun Guo and Sanjiv Agarwala, it is a pleasure to welcome you to this special edition on melanoma. While not a very common disease in China, the many dramatic and recent advances in melanoma have made this a paradigm for the success of immunotherapy and targeted treatment of cancer in general. In other words, research in melanoma is creating a revolution in the understanding of tumor biology and is teaching us how to treat other cancers using a more rational approach.

In this issue we bring you articles written by experts from China and around the world. Despite all the exciting advances in therapy of advanced melanoma, prevention of metastatic disease is ideal, and we start with a discussion on the current status of adjuvant therapy of high-risk melanoma. An understanding of the genotyping of melanoma is critical to addressing new therapies and this is discussed next. We follow with a detailed analysis of therapy for advanced melanoma using check point inhibitors and targeted agents and also go over management of potential toxicities while using these agents.

Mucosal melanoma is unique subset of melanoma that is still a bit of a mystery to clinicians in the West due to it being rare in those populations. We are pleased to offer the most comprehensive reviews on the current status of mucosal melanoma including genotyping, adjuvant therapy, the use of targeted agents and checkpoint inhibitors and a proposed treatment algorithm for this unique subset of melanoma patients.

Finally, we have put together an overall treatment algorithm for melanoma as it stands today in 2014. This is based on the authors’ best clinical judgment and experience based on the current evidence in the literature, and we are confident that this will help provide a framework for decision making in the clinic.

We hope you will enjoy this issue and that it will enhance your understanding of this challenging disease.

Sanjiv S. Agarwala, M.D. Professor of Medicine at Temple University School of Medicine, Chief of Medical Oncology at St. Luke’s Hospital & Health Network, Bethlehem, Philadelphia, USA. (Email:
Jun Guo, M.D. The Key laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Translational Research (Ministry of Education), Department of Renal cancer and Melanoma, Peking University Cancer Hospital & Institute, Beijing 100000, China. (Email:
Antonio C. Buzaid, M.D. Chairman, Centro Oncológico Antonio Ermírio de Moraes, São Paulo, Brazil. (Email:

doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2304-3865.2014.08.07

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Cite this article as: Agarwala SS, Guo J, Buzaid AC. Systemic treatment of cutaneous and mucosal melanoma. Chin Clin Oncol 2014;3(3):25. doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2304-3865.2014.08.07