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Cutaneous melanoma: A model to study cancer metastasis

Authors

  • Stanley P.L. Leong MD, FACS,

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for Melanoma Research and Treatment and Department of Surgery, California Pacific Medical Center and Research Institute, San Francisco, California
    • Chief of Cutaneous Oncology, Associate Director of the Melanoma Program, Center for Melanoma Research and Treatment, California Pacific Medical Center and Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation, Senior Scientist, California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute, 2340 Clay Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94115. Fax: 415-600-3865.
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  • Jeffrey E. Gershenwald MD, FACS,

    1. Departments of Surgical Oncology and Cancer Biology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
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  • Seng-jaw Soong PhD,

    1. Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama
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  • Dirk Schadendorf MD,

    1. Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Essen, Essen, Germany
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  • Ahmad A. Tarhini MD,

    1. Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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  • Sanjiv Agarwala MD,

    1. St. Luke's Cancer Center, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
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  • Axel Hauschild MD,

    1. Department of Dermatology, University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany
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  • Christopher W.M. Soon MD,

    1. Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, San Francisco, California
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  • Adil Daud MD,

    1. Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, San Francisco, California
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  • Mohammed Kashani-Sabet MD

    1. Center for Melanoma Research and Treatment and Department of Surgery, California Pacific Medical Center and Research Institute, San Francisco, California
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Abstract

Nodal status in melanoma is a critically important prognostic factor for patient outcome. The survival rate drops to <10% when melanoma has spread beyond the regional lymph nodes and includes visceral involvement. In general, the process of melanoma metastasis is progressive in that dissemination of melanoma from the primary site to the regional lymph nodes occurs prior to systemic disease. The goal of this review article is to describe melanoma as a clinical model to study cancer metastasis. A future challenge is to develop a molecular taxonomy to subgroup melanoma patients at various stages of tumor progression for more accurate targeted treatment. J. Surg. Oncol. 2011;103:538–549. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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