Navigating the Therapeutic Complexity of PI3K Pathway Inhibition in Melanoma

“Melanoma is entering into an era of combinatorial approaches to build upon recent clinical breakthroughs achieved by novel single-agent therapies. One of the leading targets to emerge from the growing understanding of the molecular pathogenesis, heterogeneity, and resistance mechanisms of melanomas is the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)–AKT pathway. Multiple genetic and epigenetic aberrations that activate this pathway have been identified in melanomas de novo and in acquired resistance models. These developments have been paralleled by the establishment of models for preclinical testing and the availability of compounds that target various effectors in the pathway. Thus, in addition to having a strong rationale for targeting, the PI3K–AKT pathway presents an immediate clinical opportunity. However, the development of effective strategies against this pathway must overcome several key challenges, including optimizing patient selection, overcoming feedback loops, and pathway cross-talk that can mediate resistance. This review discusses the current understanding and ongoing research about the PI3K–AKT pathway in melanoma and emerging strategies to achieve clinical benefit in patients by targeting it.”