Imanol Arozarena

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BACKGROUND The mitogen-activated protein-kinase pathway consisting of the kinases RAF, MEK, and ERK is central to cell proliferation and survival and is deregulated in more than 90% of melanomas. MEK inhibitors are currently trialled in the clinic, but despite efficient target inhibition, cytostatic rather than cytotoxic activity limits their efficacy. (More)
Malignant melanoma is a neoplasm of melanocytes, and the microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) is essential for the existence of melanocytes. MITF's relevance for this cell lineage is maintained in melanoma, where it is an important regulator of survival and balances melanoma cell proliferation with terminal differentiation (pigmentation).(More)
Cell-type specific signalling determines cell fate under physiological conditions, but it is increasingly apparent that also in cancer development the impact of any given oncogenic pathway on the individual cancer pathology is dependent on cell-lineage specific molecular traits. For instance in colon and liver cancer canonical Wnt signalling produces(More)
The RAS-RAF-MEK-ERK pathway is deregulated in over 90% of malignant melanomas, and targeting MEK as a central kinase of this pathway is currently tested in clinical trials. However, dose-limiting side effects are observed, and MEK inhibitors that sufficiently reduce ERK activation in patients show a low clinical response. Apart from dose limitations, a(More)
The central role played by the ERK/MAPK pathway downstream of RAS in human neoplasias is best exemplified in the context of melanoma skin cancer. Signaling through the MAPK pathway is crucial for the proliferation of melanocytes, the healthy pigment cells that give rise to melanoma. However, hyper-activation of the MAPK-pathway is found in over 90% of(More)
The importance of the genetic background of cancer cells for the individual susceptibility to cancer treatments is increasingly apparent. In melanoma, the existence of a BRAF mutation is a main predictor for successful BRAF-targeted therapy. However, despite initial successes with these therapies, patients relapse within a year and have to move on to other(More)
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