Vol. 37. No. 2


Melanoma is the deadliest skin cancer: it is estimated that 91,270 cases will be diagnosed in 2018 and of these, 9,320 patients will die of melanoma. The incidence of melanoma has been increasing relentlessly over the last few decades, and while melanoma only comprises approximately 3% of all skin cancers, it accounts for a large fraction of mortality due to skin cancer. The most effective treatment for melanoma is early detection and surgical removal of the primary lesion. In order to effectively diagnose melanoma, pathology plays a key role in differentiating melanoma from other melanocytic skin lesions. In the first article of this issue of Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery, Drs Messina and Gibbs review the pathology of melanocytic lesions. They have provided an excellent review and commentary on our current understanding of the molecular and clinical features of different subtypes of melanoma and the prognostic implications of these molecular and pathologic features.

Biomarkers for immune therapy in melanoma

Douglas B. Johnson, MD | Jeewon Chon, BS | Mark R. Johnson, BS | Justin M. Balko, PharmD, PhD
Over the past 5 to 10 years, a completely new class of immune therapies, termed immune checkpoint inhibitors, has been introduced. Monoclonal antibodies targeting programmed death-1 (PD-1) and cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4) have now utterly changed the prognosis of patients with high risk and metastatic melanoma as well as other cancers.

Immunotherapy for melanoma

Lauren M. Cuevas, MS | Adil Daud, MD
By augmenting preexisting antitumor immunity and preventing tumors from co-opting immune checkpoints, immunotherapy allows the immune system to destroy cancer cells.