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      Pathways and therapeutic targets in melanoma

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          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          This review aims to summarize the current knowledge of molecular pathways and their clinical relevance in melanoma. Metastatic melanoma was a grim diagnosis, but in recent years tremendous advances have been made in treatments. Chemotherapy provided little benefit in these patients, but development of targeted and new immune approaches made radical changes in prognosis. This would not have happened without remarkable advances in understanding the biology of disease and tremendous progress in the genomic (and other “omics”) scale analyses of tumors. The big problems facing the field are no longer focused exclusively on the development of new treatment modalities, though this is a very busy area of clinical research. The focus shifted now to understanding and overcoming resistance to targeted therapies, and understanding the underlying causes of the heterogeneous responses to immune therapy.

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          Most cited references 273

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          Involvement of PD-L1 on tumor cells in the escape from host immune system and tumor immunotherapy by PD-L1 blockade.

           Y Iwai,  M. Ishida,  Y. Tanaka (2002)
          PD-1 is a receptor of the Ig superfamily that negatively regulates T cell antigen receptor signaling by interacting with the specific ligands (PD-L) and is suggested to play a role in the maintenance of self-tolerance. In the present study, we examined possible roles of the PD-1/PD-L system in tumor immunity. Transgenic expression of PD-L1, one of the PD-L, in P815 tumor cells rendered them less susceptible to the specific T cell antigen receptor-mediated lysis by cytotoxic T cells in vitro, and markedly enhanced their tumorigenesis and invasiveness in vivo in the syngeneic hosts as compared with the parental tumor cells that lacked endogenous PD-L. Both effects could be reversed by anti-PD-L1 Ab. Survey of murine tumor lines revealed that all of the myeloma cell lines examined naturally expressed PD-L1. Growth of the myeloma cells in normal syngeneic mice was inhibited significantly albeit transiently by the administration of anti-PD-L1 Ab in vivo and was suppressed completely in the syngeneic PD-1-deficient mice. These results suggest that the expression of PD-L1 can serve as a potent mechanism for potentially immunogenic tumors to escape from host immune responses and that blockade of interaction between PD-1 and PD-L may provide a promising strategy for specific tumor immunotherapy.
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            Melanomas acquire resistance to B-RAF(V600E) inhibition by RTK or N-RAS upregulation.

            Activating B-RAF(V600E) (also known as BRAF) kinase mutations occur in ∼7% of human malignancies and ∼60% of melanomas. Early clinical experience with a novel class I RAF-selective inhibitor, PLX4032, demonstrated an unprecedented 80% anti-tumour response rate among patients with B-RAF(V600E)-positive melanomas, but acquired drug resistance frequently develops after initial responses. Hypotheses for mechanisms of acquired resistance to B-RAF inhibition include secondary mutations in B-RAF(V600E), MAPK reactivation, and activation of alternative survival pathways. Here we show that acquired resistance to PLX4032 develops by mutually exclusive PDGFRβ (also known as PDGFRB) upregulation or N-RAS (also known as NRAS) mutations but not through secondary mutations in B-RAF(V600E). We used PLX4032-resistant sub-lines artificially derived from B-RAF(V600E)-positive melanoma cell lines and validated key findings in PLX4032-resistant tumours and tumour-matched, short-term cultures from clinical trial patients. Induction of PDGFRβ RNA, protein and tyrosine phosphorylation emerged as a dominant feature of acquired PLX4032 resistance in a subset of melanoma sub-lines, patient-derived biopsies and short-term cultures. PDGFRβ-upregulated tumour cells have low activated RAS levels and, when treated with PLX4032, do not reactivate the MAPK pathway significantly. In another subset, high levels of activated N-RAS resulting from mutations lead to significant MAPK pathway reactivation upon PLX4032 treatment. Knockdown of PDGFRβ or N-RAS reduced growth of the respective PLX4032-resistant subsets. Overexpression of PDGFRβ or N-RAS(Q61K) conferred PLX4032 resistance to PLX4032-sensitive parental cell lines. Importantly, MAPK reactivation predicts MEK inhibitor sensitivity. Thus, melanomas escape B-RAF(V600E) targeting not through secondary B-RAF(V600E) mutations but via receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK)-mediated activation of alternative survival pathway(s) or activated RAS-mediated reactivation of the MAPK pathway, suggesting additional therapeutic strategies.
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              Cancer immunotherapy: moving beyond current vaccines.

              Great progress has been made in the field of tumor immunology in the past decade, but optimism about the clinical application of currently available cancer vaccine approaches is based more on surrogate endpoints than on clinical tumor regression. In our cancer vaccine trials of 440 patients, the objective response rate was low (2.6%), and comparable to the results obtained by others. We consider here results in cancer vaccine trials and highlight alternate strategies that mediate cancer regression in preclinical and clinical models.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Oncotarget
                Oncotarget
                ImpactJ
                Oncotarget
                Impact Journals LLC
                1949-2553
                April 2014
                8 April 2014
                : 5
                : 7
                : 1701-1752
                Affiliations
                1 Cancer Commons, Palo Alto, CA, USA
                2 University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA
                3 National Cancer Institute, NIH, Washington DC, USA
                4 Hadassah Hebrew University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel
                5 The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
                6 Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, MA, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence to: Emma Shtivelman, emma@ 123456cancercommons.org
                Article
                4039128
                24743024
                Copyright: © 2014 Shtivelman et al.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Categories
                Review

                Oncology & Radiotherapy

                melanoma, targeted therapy, immune therapy

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