Melanoma Biomolecules: Independently Identified but Functionally Intertwined

“The majority of patients diagnosed with melanoma present with thin lesions and generally these patients have a good prognosis. However, 5% of patients with early melanoma (<1 mm thick) will have recurrence and die within 10 years, despite no evidence of local or metastatic spread at the time of diagnosis. Thus, there is a need for additional prognostic markers to help identify those patients that may be at risk of recurrent disease. Many studies and several meta-analyses have compared gene and protein expression in melanocytes, naevi, primary, and metastatic melanoma in an attempt to find informative prognostic markers for these patients. However, although a large number of putative biomarkers have been described, few of these molecules are informative when used in isolation. The best approach is likely to involve a combination of molecules. We believe one approach could be to analyze the expression of a group of interacting proteins that regulate different aspects of the metastatic pathway. This is because a primary lesion expressing proteins involved in multiple stages of metastasis may be more likely to lead to secondary disease than one that does not. This review focuses on five putative biomarkers – melanoma cell adhesion molecule (MCAM), galectin-3 (gal-3), matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2), chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan 4 (CSPG4), and paired box 3 (PAX3). The goal is to provide context around what is known about the contribution of these biomarkers to melanoma biology and metastasis. Although each of these molecules have been independently identified as likely biomarkers, it is clear from our analyses that each are closely linked with each other, with intertwined roles in melanoma biology.The majority of patients diagnosed with melanoma present with thin lesions and generally these patients have a good prognosis.”


Plexxikon updates Zelboraf Phase 1 data on BRAF V600E mutation-positive melanoma

Plexxikon today announced that updated Phase 1 clinical data of Zelboraf (vemurafenib) were presented at the Society for Melanoma Research (SMR) 2012 Congress, held November 8-11 in Los Angeles, CA.


Combined BRAF and MEK Inhibition Improves Outcome in Metastatic Melanoma

The combination of dabrafenib and trametinib is safe and effective in BRAF-mutant melanoma.


PLOS ONE: The Prognostic Value of BRAF Mutation in Colorectal Cancer and Melanoma: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

PLOS ONE: an inclusive, peer-reviewed, open-access resource from the PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE. Reports of well-performed scientific studies from all disciplines freely available to the whole world.


How necessary is a sentinel node biopsy for melanoma?

A new report weighs the pros and cons of a sentinel node biopsy for melanoma patients.


National Cancer Institute Report shows cancer death rates dropping for most but not all cancers

The Annual Report on the status of cancer shows a decline in cancer deaths from major cancers including lung, colorectal, prostate, and breast, but some cancer deaths continue to increase specifically for men with melanoma as well as for those with liver, uterine, and pancreatic cancers.


Sorafenib does not improve survival in metastatic melanoma Phase III Trial Shows

Sorafenib plus chemotherapy did not improve the overall survival of metastatic melanoma patients not previously treated with chemotherapy. The trial results are published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.


Wound Complications after Inguinal Lymph Node Lower Than Previously Reported Than in Previous Single Institution Trials

Of 281 cutaneous melanoma patients undergoing inguinal lymph node (ILND) dissection, 14% had wound complications, a rate much lower than those reported in previous single institution studies. In a multivariable model, obesity, and diabetes were significantly associated with wound complications. There was no difference in the rate of reoperation in patients with and without wound complications. The study concludes that the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) appears to underreport the actual incidence of wound complications after ILND.


Two-Fold Higher Incidence of Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers for Those with HIV According to New Study

According to a Kaiser Permanente study, HIV-positive subjects had a 2.1-fold higher risk for basal cell carcinomas and a 2.6-fold higher risk for squamous cell carcinomas, compared to HIV-negative subjects. Squamous cell carcinomas were associated with lower CD4 counts, a measure of immunodeficiency. Prior antiretroviral therapy was not found to be associated with the incidence of either squamous cell carcinomas or basal cell carcinomas