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Melanoma of the oral cavity: pathogenesis, dermoscopy, clinical features, staging and management.

Primary mucosal melanoma of the oral cavity is an exceedingly rare neoplasm which is estimated to comprise 1-2% of all oral malignancies. In contrast to cutaneous melanomas, the risk factors and pathogenesis are poorly understood. The predominate localization of primary oral melanoma is hard palate and maxillary alveolus. Dermoscopy may be utilized as an adjunctive tool in the clinical differential diagnosis of oral mucosal melanoma whenever the lesion is accessible with a dermoscope. Surgery is the mainstay of treatment, but it may be challenging depending on the location of the tumor within the oral cavity and its size. Adjuvant therapy with dacarbazine, platinum analogs, nitrosoureas and interleukin-2 have been utilized with low response rates. Imatinib may be effective for patients with with c-Kit gene mutations. Sunitinib and dasatinib have been reported effective in selected cases. Vemurafenib and dabrafenib are targeted agents for patients with BRAF mutation-positive melanoma. Ipilimumab, an anti-cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 antibody and pembrolizumab, a monoclonal antibody targeting programmed death 1 receptor may be a feasible treatment option in patients with metastatic mucosal melanoma.

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