Uveal melanoma: Towards a molecular understanding
Uveal melanoma is an aggressive malignancy that originates from melanocytes in the eye. Even if the primary tumor has been successfully treated with radiation or surgery, up to half of all UM patients will eventually develop metastatic disease. Despite the common origin from neural crest-derived cells, uveal and cutaneous melanoma have few overlapping genetic signatures and uveal melanoma has been shown to have a lower mutational burden. As a consequence, many therapies that have proven effective in cutaneous melanoma -such as immunotherapy- have little or no success in uveal melanoma. Several independent studies have recently identified the underlying genetic aberrancies in uveal melanoma, which allow improved tumor classification and prognostication of metastatic disease. In most cases, activating mutations in the Gα11/Q pathway drive uveal melanoma oncogenesis, whereas mutations in the BAP1, SF3B1 or EIF1AX genes predict progression towards metastasis. Intriguingly, the composition of chromosomal anomalies of chromosome 3, 6 and 8, shown to correlate with an adverse outcome, are distinctive in the BAP1mut, SF3B1mut and EIF1AXmut uveal melanoma subtypes. Expression profiling and epigenetic studies underline this subdivision in high-, intermediate-, or low-metastatic risk subgroups and suggest a different approach in the future towards prevention and/or treatment based on the specific mutation present in the tumor of the patients. In this review we discuss the current knowledge of the underlying genetic events that lead to uveal melanoma, their implication for the disease course and prognosis, as well as the therapeutic possibilities that arise from targeting these different aberrant pathways.
|Persistent URL||dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.preteyeres.2019.100800, hdl.handle.net/1765/120172|
|Journal||Progress in Retinal and Eye Research|
Smit, K.N, Jager, M.J, de Klein, A, & Kiliҫ, E. (Emine). (2019). Uveal melanoma: Towards a molecular understanding. Progress in Retinal and Eye Research. doi:10.1016/j.preteyeres.2019.100800