Special Issue "Molecular Basis and Therapeutic Strategies of Melanoma and Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer"

A special issue of Cells (ISSN 2073-4409). This special issue belongs to the section "Cellular Pathology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 October 2021) | Viewed by 2796

Special Issue Editors

Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, Universita degli Studi di Catania, 95123 Catania, Italy
Interests: general pathology; oncology; cancer development; drug resistance; epigenetics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cutaneous melanoma (CM) represents one of the most aggressive types of cancer because of its high metastatic power. Several environmental risk factors have been recognized in the development of CM, as well as different molecular mechanisms responsible for the malignant transformation of melanocytes. Notably, the alteration of the RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK and PI3K/AKT/mTOR signal transduction pathways are key mechanisms involved in the development of CM, but a growing body of evidence has demonstrated that epigenetic alterations and tumor microenvironment modifications may promote melanoma development and progression. These findings have led to the development of new targeted therapies that ameliorate the overall survival of melanoma patients; however, the mortality rate of CM still remains high due to the development of drug resistance mechanisms.

Therefore, the identification of the molecular mechanisms responsible for therapeutic failure is one of the main goals for the treatment of cutaneous melanomas. Furthermore, the study of epigenetic alterations and tumor microenvironment modifications in patients with melanoma could provide useful information to identify new therapeutic targets and find new early diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for CM.

On these bases, the focus of this Special Issue will be the evaluation of the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in melanoma development, progression, aggressiveness, and drug resistance in order to provide updated information about the current status of molecular, pharmaceutical, and translational scientific discoveries in the field of cutaneous melanoma.

Potential topics will include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Molecular alterations associated with cutaneous melanoma;
  2. Molecular mechanisms and strategies to overcome drug resistance in cutaneous melanoma;
  3. Tumor microenvironment and matrix metalloproteinases in cutaneous melanoma: roles and clinical implications;
  4. Novel biomarkers for the early diagnosis of cutaneous melanoma;
  5. Therapeutic strategies for cutaneous melanoma;
  6. Natural compounds as novel therapeutic strategies;
  7. Epigenetics modifications and cutaneous melanoma development and progression;
  8. Environmental and occupational risk factors for cutaneous melanoma.

We look forward to your contributions.

Prof. Massimo Libra
Dr. Luca Falzone
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Cells is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • cutaneous melanoma
  • immunotherapy
  • targeted therapy
  • drug resistance
  • RAF and PI3K pathways

Published Papers (1 paper)

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13 pages, 1355 KiB  
Examining the Relationship between Circulating CD4− CD8− Double-Negative T Cells and Outcomes of Immuno-Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy—Looking for Biomarkers and Therapeutic Targets in Metastatic Melanoma
Cells 2021, 10(2), 406; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10020406 - 16 Feb 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2156
Background: The role of circulating CD4/CD8 double-negative T cells (DNTs) in the immune response to melanoma is poorly understood, as are the effects of checkpoint inhibitors on T cell subpopulations. Methods: We performed a basal and longitudinal assessment of circulating [...] Read more.
Background: The role of circulating CD4/CD8 double-negative T cells (DNTs) in the immune response to melanoma is poorly understood, as are the effects of checkpoint inhibitors on T cell subpopulations. Methods: We performed a basal and longitudinal assessment of circulating immune cells, including DNTs, in metastatic melanoma patients treated with checkpoint blockade in a single-center cohort, and examined the correlations levels of immune cells with clinical features and therapy outcomes. Results: Sixty-eight patients (48 ipilimumab, 20 PD1 inhibitors) were enrolled in the study. Our analysis indicated that better outcomes were associated with normal LDH, fewer than three metastatic sites, an ECOG performance status of 0, M1a stage, lower WBC and a higher lymphocyte count. The increase in lymphocyte count and decrease of DNTs were significantly associated with the achievement of an overall response. The median value of DNT decreased while the CD4+ and NK cells increased in patients that responded to treatment compare to those who did not respond to treatment. Conclusions: DNT cells change during treatment with checkpoint inhibitors and may be adept at sensing the immune response to melanoma. The complementary variation of DNT cells with respect to CD4+ and other immune actors may improve the reliability of lymphocyte assessment. Further investigation of DNT as a potential target in checkpoint inhibitor resistant melanoma is warranted. Full article
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