Targeted therapy and immunotherapy: Emerging biomarkers in metastatic melanoma

Patricia M. LoRusso*, Kurt Schalper, Jeffrey Sosman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Targeted therapy directed against oncogenic BRAF mutations and immune checkpoint inhibitors have transformed melanoma therapy over the past decade and prominently improved patient outcomes. However, not all patients will respond to targeted therapy or immunotherapy and many relapse after initially responding to treatment. This unmet need presents two major challenges. First, can we elucidate novel oncogenic drivers to provide new therapeutic targets? Second, can we identify patients who are most likely to respond to current therapeutic strategies in order to both more accurately select populations and avoid undue drug exposure in patients unlikely to respond? In an effort to evaluate the current state of the field with respect to these questions, we provide an overview of some common oncogenic mutations in patients with metastatic melanoma and ongoing efforts to therapeutically target these populations, as well as a discussion of biomarkers for response to immune checkpoint inhibitors—including tumor programmed death ligand 1 expression and the future use of neoantigens as a means of truly personalized therapy. This information is becoming important in treatment decision making and provides the framework for a treatment algorithm based on the current landscape in metastatic melanoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-402
Number of pages13
JournalPigment Cell and Melanoma Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • biomarkers
  • melanoma
  • oncogenes
  • programmed cell death 1 ligand 1
  • tumor antigens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Dermatology


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