Resistance to BRAF inhibitors: unraveling mechanisms and future treatment options

Jessie Villanueva, Adina Vultur, Meenhard Herlyn
Cancer Research 2011 December 1, 71 (23): 7137-40
The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway has emerged as a central target for melanoma therapy due to its persistent activation in the majority of tumors. Several BRAF inhibitors aimed at curbing MAPK pathway activity are currently in advanced stages of clinical investigation. However, their therapeutic success is limited by the emergence of drug resistance, as responses are transient and tumors eventually recur. To develop effective and long-lasting therapies for melanoma patients, it is essential to understand the mechanisms underlying resistance to BRAF inhibitors. Here, we briefly review recent preclinical studies that have provided insight into the molecular mechanisms of resistance to BRAF inhibitors and discuss potential strategies to treat drug-resistant melanomas.

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