- The benign melanocytic nevus is the most common tumor in humans and rarely transforms into cutaneous melanoma. Elucidation of the nevus genome is required to better understand the molecular steps of progression to melanoma. We performed whole genome sequencing on a series of 14 benign melanocytic nevi consisting of both congenital and acquired types. All nevi had driver mutations in the MAPK signaling pathway, either BRAF V600E or NRAS Q61R/L. No additional definite driver mutations were identified.
- It is unclear to what degree genomic and traditional (phenotypic and environmental) risk factors overlap in their prediction of melanoma risk. We evaluated the incremental contribution of common genomic variants (in pigmentation, nevus, and other pathways) and their overlap with traditional risk factors, using data from two population-based case-control studies from Australia (n = 1,035) and the United Kingdom (n = 1,460) that used the same questionnaires. Polygenic risk scores were derived from 21 gene regions associated with melanoma and odds ratios from published meta-analyses.
- In metastatic melanoma, it is vital to identify and validate biomarkers of prognosis. Previous studies have systematically evaluated protein biomarkers or mRNA-based expression signatures. No such analyses have been applied to microRNA (miRNA)-based prognostic signatures. As a first step, we identified two prognostic miRNA signatures from publicly available data sets (Gene Expression Omnibus/The Cancer Genome Atlas) of global miRNA expression profiling information. A 12-miRNA signature predicted longer survival after surgery for resection of American Joint Committee on Cancer stage III disease (>4 years, no sign of relapse) and outperformed American Joint Committee on Cancer standard-of-care prognostic markers in leave-one-out cross-validation analysis (error rates 34% and 38%, respectively).