Future perspectives in melanoma research: Meeting report from the "Melanoma Bridge", Napoli, December 5th-8th 2013

Paolo A. Ascierto, Antonio M. Grimaldi, Ana Carrizosa Anderson, Carlo Bifulco, Alistair Cochran, Claus Garbe, Alexander M. Eggermont, Mark Faries, Soldano Ferrone, Jeffrey E. Gershenwald, Thomas F. Gajewski, Ruth Halaban, F. Stephen Hodi, Richard Kefford, John M. Kirkwood, James Larkin, Sancy Leachman, Michele Maio, Richard Marais, Giuseppe MasucciIgnacio Melero, Giuseppe Palmieri, Igor Puzanov, Antoni Ribas, Yvonne Saenger, Bastian Schilling, Barbara Seliger, David Stroncek, Ryan Sullivan, Alessandro Testori, Ena Wang, Gennaro Ciliberto, Nicola Mozzillo, Francesco M. Marincola, Magdalena Thurin

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Abstract

The fourth "Melanoma Bridge Meeting" took place in Naples, December 5 to 8th, 2013. The four topics discussed at this meeting were: Diagnosis and New Procedures, Molecular Advances and Combination Therapies, News in Immunotherapy, and Tumor Microenvironment and Biomarkers. Until recently systemic therapy for metastatic melanoma patients was ineffective, but recent research in tumor biology and immunology has led to the development of new targeted and immunotherapeutic agents that prolong progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). New therapies, such as mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway inhibitors, like BRAF and MEK inhibitors, as well as other signaling pathways inhibitors, are being tested in metastatic melanoma either as monotherapy or in combination, and have yielded promising results. Improved survival rates have also been observed with immune therapy for patients with metastatic melanoma. Immune-modulating antibodies came to the forefront with anti-CTLA-4, programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) and PD-1 ligand 1 (PD-L1) pathway blocking antibodies that result in durable responses in a subset of melanoma patients. Agents targeting other immune inhibitory (e.g., Tim-3) or immune stimulating (e.g., CD137) receptors and other approaches such as adoptive cell transfer demonstrate clinical benefit in melanoma as well. This meeting's specific focus was on advances in targeted therapy and immunotherapy. Both combination targeted therapy approaches and different immunotherapies were discussed. Similarly to the previous meetings, the importance of biomarkers for clinical application as markers for diagnosis, prognosis and prediction of treatment response was an integral part of the meeting. Significant consideration was given to issues surrounding the development of novel therapeutic targets as further study of patterns of resistance to both immunologic and targeted drugs are paramount to future drug development to guide existing and future therapies. The overall emphasis on biomarkers supports novel concepts toward integrating biomarkers into contemporary clinical management of patients with melanoma across the entire spectrum of disease stage. Translation of the knowledge gained from the biology of tumor microenvironment across different tumors represents a bridge to impact on prognosis and response to therapy in melanoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number277
JournalJournal of translational medicine
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

Ascierto, P. A., Grimaldi, A. M., Anderson, A. C., Bifulco, C., Cochran, A., Garbe, C., Eggermont, A. M., Faries, M., Ferrone, S., Gershenwald, J. E., Gajewski, T. F., Halaban, R., Stephen Hodi, F., Kefford, R., Kirkwood, J. M., Larkin, J., Leachman, S., Maio, M., Marais, R., ... Thurin, M. (2014). Future perspectives in melanoma research: Meeting report from the "Melanoma Bridge", Napoli, December 5th-8th 2013. Journal of translational medicine, 12(1), [277]. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12967-014-0277-z