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Cancers 2011, 3(1), 126-163; doi:10.3390/cancers3010126

Decoding Melanoma Metastasis

Jr. 1,2
1 Department of Dermatology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA 2 Department of Pathology, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, Vermont, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 December 2010 / Revised: 22 December 2010 / Accepted: 23 December 2010 / Published: 30 December 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organ-Specific Metastasis Formation)
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Metastasis accounts for the vast majority of morbidity and mortality associated with melanoma. Evidence suggests melanoma has a predilection for metastasis to particular organs. Experimental analyses have begun to shed light on the mechanisms regulating melanoma metastasis and organ specificity, but these analyses are complicated by observations of metastatic dormancy and dissemination of melanocytes that are not yet fully malignant. Additionally, tumor extrinsic factors in the microenvironment, both at the site of the primary tumor and the site of metastasis, play important roles in mediating the metastatic process. As metastasis research moves forward, paradigms explaining melanoma metastasis as a step-wise process must also reflect the temporal complexity and heterogeneity in progression of this disease. Genetic drivers of melanoma as well as extrinsic regulators of disease spread, particularly those that mediate metastasis to specific organs, must also be incorporated into newer models of melanoma metastasis.
Keywords: melanoma; metastasis; organ-specific; metastatic dormancy; pre-malignant dissemination melanoma; metastasis; organ-specific; metastatic dormancy; pre-malignant dissemination
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Damsky, W.E., Jr.; Rosenbaum, L.E.; Bosenberg, M. Decoding Melanoma Metastasis. Cancers 2011, 3, 126-163.

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