Drug resistance of BRAF-mutant melanoma: Review of up-to-date mechanisms of action and promising targeted agents

Abstract

Abstract Melanoma onset and progression are associated with a high variety of activating mutations in the MAPK-pathway, most frequently involving BRAF (35–45%) and NRAS (15–25%) genes, but also c-KIT and PTEN. Targeted therapies with BRAF and MEK inhibitors showed promising results over the past years, but it is known that most responses are temporary, and almost all of patients develop a tumor relapse within one year. Different drug-resistance mechanisms underlie the progression of disease and activation of both MAPK and PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathways. Therefore, in this article we reviewed the main studies about clinical effects of several target inhibitors, describing properly the most prominent mechanisms of both intrinsic and acquired resistance. Furthermore, suggestive strategies for overcoming drug resistance and the most recent alternative combination therapies to optimize the use of MAPK pathway inhibitors were also discussed

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