Melanoma models for the next generation of therapies

E. Elizabeth Patton, Kristen L. Mueller, David J. Adams, Niroshana Anandasabapathy, Andrew E. Aplin, Corine Bertolotto, Marcus Bosenberg, Craig J. Ceol, Christin E. Burd, Ping Chi, Meenhard Herlyn, Sheri L. Holmen, Florian A. Karreth, Charles K. Kaufman, Shaheen Khan, Sebastian Kobold, Eleonora Leucci, Carmit Levy, David B. Lombard, Amanda W. LundKerrie L. Marie, Jean Christophe Marine, Richard Marais, Martin McMahon, Carla Daniela Robles-Espinoza, Ze'ev A. Ronai, Yardena Samuels, Maria S. Soengas, Jessie Villanueva, Ashani T. Weeraratna, Richard M. White, Iwei Yeh, Jiyue Zhu, Leonard I. Zon, Marc S. Hurlbert, Glenn Merlino

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


There is a lack of appropriate melanoma models that can be used to evaluate the efficacy of novel therapeutic modalities. Here, we discuss the current state of the art of melanoma models including genetically engineered mouse, patient-derived xenograft, zebrafish, and ex vivo and in vitro models. We also identify five major challenges that can be addressed using such models, including metastasis and tumor dormancy, drug resistance, the melanoma immune response, and the impact of aging and environmental exposures on melanoma progression and drug resistance. Additionally, we discuss the opportunity for building models for rare subtypes of melanomas, which represent an unmet critical need. Finally, we identify key recommendations for melanoma models that may improve accuracy of preclinical testing and predict efficacy in clinical trials, to help usher in the next generation of melanoma therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)610-631
Number of pages22
JournalCancer Cell
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 10 2021


  • animal models
  • drug discovery
  • immunotherapy
  • melanoma
  • targeted therapy
  • therapeutics
  • tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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