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Summary

The last few years have witnessed the dawn of the molecular era in melanoma treatment. With the advent of successful therapy targeting mutant BRAF, melanoma is leading the field of cancer research in the molecular approach to therapy of advanced disease. Attempting to keep pace with advances in therapy are advances in the molecular assessment of melanoma progression, facilitated by the availability of genome-wide approaches to interrogate the malignant phenotype. At the DNA level, this has included approaches such as comparative genomic hybridization. At the RNA level, this has consisted of gene expression profiling using various assay methodologies. In certain instances, markers identified using these platforms have been further examined and developed using fluorescence in situ hybridization and immunohistochemical analysis. In this article, we will review recent progress in the development of novel molecular markers for melanoma that are nearing clinical application. We will review developments in the molecular classification of melanoma, in the molecular diagnosis of melanoma, and in the molecular assessment of melanoma prognosis.