Department of Dermatology, Shanghai Tongji Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, 200065, Shanghai, China
Even though melanoma skin cancer is less common than non-melanoma skin cancers (squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma), still its mortality rate is relatively higher. Early diagnosis is the mainstay option to improve the disease outcome as early-stage melanoma made a favorable prognosis with surgical intervention. In contrast, advanced stage melanoma which is disseminated to distant sites through the lymphatics is associated with poor prognosis. Earlier traditional treatment modalities like interleukin 2 and non-specific anti-neoplastic agents are ineffective in improving the survival outcome and also the side-effects of these drugs have always been a treatment burden. However, recent understanding of immunotherapeutic approach against melanoma cancer has revolutionized the whole treatment scenario. Various adaptations of immunotherapies like targeted therapy, monoclonal antibodies, Toll-like receptors, T-cell therapy and oncolytic viral therapy has shown significant improvement in prolonging the survival. In this review, we discussed the novel therapeutic agents and summarized the outcomes from recent major clinical trials.