Current treatment of malignant melanoma exemplifies not only the need for translational research but also many of the challenges of moving from bench to bedside. Melanoma remains unique among solid tumors in that its treatment primarily is surgical. Radiation is of limited benefit, and chemotherapy has been disappointing in both the adjuvant and metastatic settings. This leaves clinicians with few options for reducing the chance of recurrence after surgery and for treating unresectable disease. With this in mind, there has been a fervent attempt to identify novel approaches to melanoma therapy and translate them into clinical use.
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