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The prognostic role of BRAF and WNT pathways activation in kinase inhibitors-naive clinical stage III cutaneous melanoma

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

The results of local-regional advanced melanoma (stage III) management are still not satisfactory. Particularly, there is no personalized treatment in stage III melanoma patients due to the lack of useful classical pathological markers for prognostication of indolent or aggressive course of the disease. The aim of this study was to explore melanoma genomic landscape by means of the mutational profiling of 50 genes influencing carcinogenesis pathways in the randomly selected 93 kinase inhibitor-naïve (KI-naïve) stage III patients. The genomic alterations were found in 27 out of 50 tested genes and at least one pathogenic variant was detected in 77 out of 93 cases (82.7%). Survival rate was negatively affected by the presence of the somatic mutations in AKT1, ATM, CDH1 and SMARCB1, while the BRAF+ status in KI-naïve stage III population correlated with the longer median overall survival. Genomic alterations in WNT pathway correlated with extranodal adipocyte tissue involvement (P = 0.027) and higher number of metastatic lymph nodes (P = 0.045). In terms of survival, the Cox model confirmed the worse prognosis in patients with mutation in the WNT pathway [hazard ratio (HR) = 2.9, P = 0.017], and better prognosis in cases with mutations in BRAF pathway (HR = 0.5, P = 0.004). WNT/β-catenin pathway alteration was associated with more advanced/aggressive disease. From this perspective, the concept of blocking the activity of the WNT pathway in selected cases appears promising and complementary to the BRAF inhibition therapeutic option for the future.
Journal: Melanoma Research
ISSN: 0960-8931
Issue: 4
Volume: 30
Pages: 348 - 357
Number of pages: 10
Publication year:2020
Keywords:Hematology & oncology, Dermatology/urogenital system, Experimental/laboratory medicine