During the past 3 decades, the incidence, morbidity, and mortality of malignant melanoma have increased dramatically. Advanced melanoma has remained a disease that is for the most part incurable and has challenged all therapeutic efforts to make a dent in its natural history. Recent advances in the understanding of the molecular alterations in melanoma and in the immunologic mechanisms playing a role in this malignancy have brought hope that significant progress can be achieved, as evidenced by early encouraging clinical data. This review will summarize these recent developments and their impact on current clinical practice.
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