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After decades of phase III trials failing to demonstrate an impact on survival of various drugs in metastatic melanoma there are finally significant advances in systemic therapies for melanoma emerging. Novel ways to modulate the immune system by monoclonal antibodies as well as various signalling pathway inhibitors are responsible for creating a whole new therapeutic landscape. For the first time it is likely that a number of new drugs with completely different mechanisms of action will be approved in the near future. The imminent candidates are the anti-CTLA-4 antibody ipilimumab, and the highly selective BRAF inhibitor PLX4032. But in each class other molecules are under development with good perspectives. Various new combinations will have to be explored and it is reasonable to expect synergies between the different classes of drugs as well as between novel molecules within the same class of drugs. Here, an overview of current developments and the most important new drugs under consideration is provided.
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