A bright future ahead: considerations in immunotherapy regarding the treatment of melanoma

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Maloney, Megan
Olesen, James
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Thesis (B.?)
Honors College
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Malignant melanoma is a cancer that has recently increased in annual incidence due to increased exposure to the sun. Melanoma occurs when the melanocytes, or pigment-producing cells in the skin start growing and dividing abnormally, which forms a tumor and can turn lethal if it undergoes a metastatic event and spreads to other parts of the body. With massive strides in oncological research, melanoma has been a cancer that has become easier to detect, diagnose, and has many more treatment options than it did in the past. While options of treatment such as surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy remain consistently effective, a new wave of treatment technology has come to the forefront of cancer research. Immunotherapy utilizes one’s individual immune system by targeting lymphocytes to elicit a strong immune response that will attack cancerous cells. There are many components to immunotherapeutic techniques and in this review, the best components will be predicted as to how effective they would be in amplifying the immune response. Immunotherapy shows hopeful outcomes as of now, but in the future, there are some challenges that it might face, but nothing that it cannot potentially overcome.