Emerging strategies to treat rare and intractable subtypes of melanoma

Gretchen M. Alicea, Vito W. Rebecca

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, possessing a diverse landscape of subtypes with distinct molecular signatures and levels of aggressiveness. Although immense progress has been achieved therapeutically for patients with the most common forms of this disease, little is known of how to effectively treat patients with rarer subtypes of melanoma. These subtypes include acral lentiginous (the rarest form of cutaneous melanoma; AL), uveal, and mucosal melanomas, which display variations in distribution across (a) the world, (b) patient age-groups, and (c) anatomic sites. Unfortunately, patients with these relatively rare subtypes of melanoma typically respond worse to therapies approved for the more common, non-AL cutaneous melanoma and do not have effective alternatives, and thus consequently have worse overall survival rates. Achieving durable therapeutic responses in these high-risk melanoma subtypes represents one of the greatest challenges of the field. This review aims to collate and highlight effective preclinical and/or clinical strategies against these rare forms of melanoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-58
Number of pages15
JournalPigment Cell and Melanoma Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • acral lentiginous melanoma
  • mucosal melanoma
  • therapy resistance
  • uveal melanoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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