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Andrew L. Ji, Christopher K. Bichakjian, and Susan M. Swetter

Molecular profiling of malignant tumors is gaining increasing interest in oncology. In recent years, several molecular techniques have been studied in melanoma, with the goal to improve upon the diagnostic and prognostic abilities of currently available clinical and histopathologic parameters. Reliable tests performed early in the diagnosis and management of melanoma could lead to decreased morbidity and mortality by selecting appropriate patients for more-aggressive therapy and sparing those for whom it is not indicated. This article reviews the molecular diagnostic and prognostic techniques currently available for melanoma and evaluates their potential role in clinical practice.

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Presenters: Douglas B. Johnson, Susan M. Swetter, April K.S. Salama, and Evan Wuthrick

Several advances in diagnosis and treatment of cutaneous melanoma were discussed at the NCCN 2021 Virtual Annual Conference. First, advances in immunotherapies and targeted agents have enhanced the role of systemic therapies in the up-front management of brain metastases in melanoma while improving survival. With dual-agent immune checkpoint inhibitors, more than half of patients with asymptomatic brain metastases that are not in high-risk anatomic areas of the brain respond to treatment, and these responses appear to be durable, sparing many patients from neurosurgery and/or stereotactic radiosurgery. In addition, molecular tests increasingly have implications for clinical decision-making in later-stage disease. The most important genetic mutation in melanoma is the BRAF V600 mutation, which can be found in approximately 40% to 50% of cutaneous melanomas.

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Daniel G. Coit, Robert Andtbacka, Christopher J. Anker, Christopher K. Bichakjian, William E. Carson III, Adil Daud, Raza A. Dilawari, Dominick DiMaio, Valerie Guild, Allan C. Halpern, F. Stephen Hodi Jr., Mark C. Kelley, Nikhil I. Khushalani, Ragini R. Kudchadkar, Julie R. Lange, Anne Lind, Mary C. Martini, Anthony J. Olszanski, Scott K. Pruitt, Merrick I. Ross, Susan M. Swetter, Kenneth K. Tanabe, John A. Thompson, Vijay Trisal, and Marshall M. Urist

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Daniel G. Coit, Robert Andtbacka, Christopher K. Bichakjian, Raza A. Dilawari, Dominick DiMaio, Valerie Guild, Allan C. Halpern, F. Stephen Hodi, Mohammed Kashani-Sabet, Julie R. Lange, Anne Lind, Lainie Martin, Mary C. Martini, Scott K. Pruitt, Merrick I. Ross, Stephen F. Sener, Susan M. Swetter, Kenneth K. Tanabe, John A. Thompson, Vijay Trisal, Marshall M. Urist, Jeffrey Weber, and Michael K. Wong

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NCCN Guidelines® Insights: Melanoma: Cutaneous, Version 2.2021

Featured Updates to the NCCN Guidelines

Susan M. Swetter, John A. Thompson, Mark R. Albertini, Christopher A. Barker, Joel Baumgartner, Genevieve Boland, Bartosz Chmielowski, Dominick DiMaio, Alison Durham, Ryan C. Fields, Martin D. Fleming, Anjela Galan, Brian Gastman, Kenneth Grossmann, Samantha Guild, Ashley Holder, Douglas Johnson, Richard W. Joseph, Giorgos Karakousis, Kari Kendra, Julie R. Lange, Ryan Lanning, Kim Margolin, Anthony J. Olszanski, Patrick A. Ott, Merrick I. Ross, April K. Salama, Rohit Sharma, Joseph Skitzki, Jeffrey Sosman, Evan Wuthrick, Nicole R. McMillian, and Anita M. Engh

Over the past few years, the NCCN Guidelines for Melanoma: Cutaneous have been expanded to include pathways for treatment of microscopic satellitosis (added in v2.2020), and the following Principles sections: Molecular Testing (added in v2.2019), Systemic Therapy Considerations (added in v2.2020), and Brain Metastases Management (added in v3.2020). The v1.2021 update included additional modifications of these sections and notable revisions to Principles of: Pathology, Surgical Margins for Wide Excision of Primary Melanoma, Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy, Completion/Therapeutic Lymph Node Dissection, and Radiation Therapy. These NCCN Guidelines Insights discuss the important changes to pathology and surgery recommendations, as well as additions to systemic therapy options for patients with advanced disease.

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Daniel G. Coit, John A. Thompson, Alain Algazi, Robert Andtbacka, Christopher K. Bichakjian, William E. Carson III, Gregory A. Daniels, Dominick DiMaio, Marc Ernstoff, Ryan C. Fields, Martin D. Fleming, Rene Gonzalez, Valerie Guild, Allan C. Halpern, F. Stephen Hodi Jr, Richard W. Joseph, Julie R. Lange, Mary C. Martini, Miguel A. Materin, Anthony J. Olszanski, Merrick I. Ross, April K. Salama, Joseph Skitzki, Jeff Sosman, Susan M. Swetter, Kenneth K. Tanabe, Javier F. Torres-Roca, Vijay Trisal, Marshall M. Urist, Nicole McMillian, and Anita Engh

This selection from the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Melanoma focuses on adjuvant therapy and treatment of in-transit disease, because substantial changes were made to the recommendations for the 2016 update. Depending on the stage of the disease, options for adjuvant therapy now include biochemotherapy and high-dose ipilimumab. Treatment options for in-transit disease now include intralesional injection with talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC), a new immunotherapy. These additions prompted re-assessment of the data supporting older recommended treatment options for adjuvant therapy and in-transit disease, resulting in extensive revisions to the supporting discussion sections.

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Melanoma, Version 2.2013

Featured Updates to the NCCN Guidelines

Daniel G. Coit, Robert Andtbacka, Christopher J. Anker, Christopher K. Bichakjian, William E. Carson III, Adil Daud, Dominick DiMaio, Martin D. Fleming, Valerie Guild, Allan C. Halpern, F. Stephen Hodi Jr., Mark C. Kelley, Nikhil I. Khushalani, Ragini R. Kudchadkar, Julie R. Lange, Anne Lind, Mary C. Martini, Anthony J. Olszanski, Scott K. Pruitt, Merrick I. Ross, Susan M. Swetter, Kenneth K. Tanabe, John A. Thompson, Vijay Trisal, Marshall M. Urist, Nicole McMillian, and Maria Ho

The NCCN Guidelines for Melanoma provide multidisciplinary recommendations on the clinical management of patients with melanoma. This NCCN Guidelines Insights report highlights notable recent updates. Foremost of these is the exciting addition of the novel agents ipilimumab and vemurafenib for treatment of advanced melanoma. The NCCN panel also included imatinib as a treatment for KIT-mutated tumors and pegylated interferon alfa-2b as an option for adjuvant therapy. Also important are revisions to the initial stratification of early-stage lesions based on the risk of sentinel lymph node metastases, and revised recommendations on the use of sentinel lymph node biopsy for low-risk groups. Finally, the NCCN panel reached clinical consensus on clarifying the role of imaging in the workup of patients with melanoma.

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Daniel G. Coit, John A. Thompson, Robert Andtbacka, Christopher J. Anker, Christopher K. Bichakjian, William E. Carson III, Gregory A. Daniels, Adil Daud, Dominick DiMaio, Martin D. Fleming, Rene Gonzalez, Valerie Guild, Allan C. Halpern, F. Stephen Hodi Jr, Mark C. Kelley, Nikhil I. Khushalani, Ragini R. Kudchadkar, Julie R. Lange, Mary C. Martini, Anthony J. Olszanski, Merrick I. Ross, April Salama, Susan M. Swetter, Kenneth K. Tanabe, Vijay Trisal, Marshall M. Urist, Nicole R. McMillian, and Maria Ho

The NCCN Guidelines for Melanoma provide multidisciplinary recommendations for the management of patients with melanoma. These NCCN Guidelines Insights highlight notable recent updates. Dabrafenib and trametinib, either as monotherapy (category 1) or combination therapy, have been added as systemic options for patients with unresectable metastatic melanoma harboring BRAF V600 mutations. Controversy continues regarding the value of adjuvant radiation for patients at high risk of nodal relapse. This is reflected in the category 2B designation to consider adjuvant radiation following lymphadenectomy for stage III melanoma with clinically positive nodes or recurrent disease.

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Daniel G. Coit, John A. Thompson, Mark R. Albertini, Christopher Barker, William E. Carson III, Carlo Contreras, Gregory A. Daniels, Dominick DiMaio, Ryan C. Fields, Martin D. Fleming, Morganna Freeman, Anjela Galan, Brian Gastman, Valerie Guild, Douglas Johnson, Richard W. Joseph, Julie R. Lange, Sameer Nath, Anthony J. Olszanski, Patrick Ott, Aparna Priyanath Gupta, Merrick I. Ross, April K. Salama, Joseph Skitzki, Jeffrey Sosman, Susan M. Swetter, Kenneth K. Tanabe, Evan Wuthrick, Nicole R. McMillian, and Anita M. Engh

The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Cutaneous melanoma have been significantly revised over the past few years in response to emerging data on immune checkpoint inhibitor therapies and BRAF-targeted therapy. This article summarizes the data and rationale supporting extensive changes to the recommendations for systemic therapy as adjuvant treatment of resected disease and as treatment of unresectable or distant metastatic disease.

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Daniel G. Coit, John A. Thompson, Alain Algazi, Robert Andtbacka, Christopher K. Bichakjian, William E. Carson III, Gregory A. Daniels, Dominick DiMaio, Ryan C. Fields, Martin D. Fleming, Brian Gastman, Rene Gonzalez, Valerie Guild, Douglas Johnson, Richard W. Joseph, Julie R. Lange, Mary C. Martini, Miguel A. Materin, Anthony J. Olszanski, Patrick Ott, Aparna Priyanath Gupta, Merrick I. Ross, April K. Salama, Joseph Skitzki, Susan M. Swetter, Kenneth K. Tanabe, Javier F. Torres-Roca, Vijay Trisal, Marshall M. Urist, Nicole McMillian, and Anita Engh

The NCCN Guidelines for Melanoma have been significantly revised over the past few years in response to emerging data on a number of novel agents and treatment regimens. These NCCN Guidelines Insights summarize the data and rationale supporting extensive changes to the recommendations for systemic therapy in patients with metastatic or unresectable melanoma.