Every year more than 53,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with melanoma, making it the fastest growing cancer both in the United States and worldwide, especially among young adults between the ages of 20 and 30 years. While melanoma is treatable when detected in the early stages, it causes almost 8,000 deaths annually. There have been few effective options for managing metastatic melanoma, resulting in a 5-year mortality rate of 40%-75% for regional metastases and 85% to 90% for distant metastases. Recent research in targeted therapy, such as B-Raf inhibitors, MEK inhibitors, and immunotherapy, has shown promising results and may lead to improved outcomes. Agents such as dabrafenib, vemurafenib, and ipilimumab are being studied in combination and in sequence to determine the most effect treatment strategy, and research presented at the 2012 American Society of ClinicalOncology Annual Meeting may provide insight on future avenues of therapy. Read more...

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