Melanoma Metabolism: Cell Survival and Resistance to Therapy

Rafael Luís, Cheila Brito, Marta Pojo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Cutaneous melanoma is one of the most aggressive types of cancer, presenting the highest potential to form metastases, both locally and distally, which are associated with high death rates of melanoma patients. A high somatic mutation burden is characteristic of these tumours, with most common oncogenic mutations occurring in the BRAF, NRAS and NF1 genes. These intrinsic oncogenic pathways contribute to the metabolic switch between glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation metabolisms of melanoma, facilitating tumour progression and resulting in a high plasticity and adaptability to unfavourable conditions. Moreover, melanoma microenvironment can influence its own metabolism and reprogram several immune cell subset functions, enabling melanoma to evade the immune system. The knowledge of the biology, molecular alterations and microenvironment of melanoma has led to the development of new targeted therapies and the improvement of patient care. In this work, we reviewed the impact of melanoma metabolism in the resistance to BRAF and MEK inhibitors and immunotherapies, emphasizing the requirement to evaluate metabolic alterations upon development of novel therapeutic approaches. Here we summarized the current understanding of the impact of metabolic processes in melanomagenesis, metastasis and microenvironment, as well as the involvement of metabolic pathways in the immune modulation and resistance to targeted and immunocheckpoint therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598
ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019


  • Immunotherapy
  • Melanoma
  • Metabolic profile
  • Microenvironment
  • Oncogenic mutations
  • Targeted therapy


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