Therapy for BRAFi-Resistant Melanomas: Is WNT5A the Answer?

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Abstract

In recent years, scientists have advocated the use of targeted therapies in the form of drugs that modulate genes and proteins that are directly associated with cancer progression and metastasis. Malignant melanoma is a dreadful cancer type that has been associated with the rapid dissemination of primary tumors to multiple sites, including bone, brain, liver and lungs. The discovery that approximately 40%-50% of malignant melanomas contain a mutation in BRAF at codon 600 gave scientists a new approach to tackle this disease. However, clinical studies on patients have shown that although BRAFi (BRAF inhibitors) trigger early anti-tumor responses, the majority of patients later develop resistance to the therapy. Recent studies have shown that WNT5A plays a key role in enhancing the resistance of melanoma cells to BRAFi. The focus of the current review will be on melanoma development, signaling pathways important to acquired resistance to BRAFi, and why WNT5A inhibitors are attractive candidates to be included in combinatorial therapies for melanoma.

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  • Cancer and Oncology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1900-1924
JournalCancers
Volume7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes