Cutaneous melanoma causes 55 500 deaths annually. The incidence and mortality rates of the disease differ widely across the globe depending on access to early detection and primary care. Once melanoma has spread, this type of cancer rapidly becomes life-threatening. For more than 40 years, few treatment options were available, and clinical trials during that time were all unsuccessful. Over the past 10 years, increased biological understanding and access to innovative therapeutic substances have transformed advanced melanoma into a new oncological model for treating solid cancers.