Genetic alterations among Korean melanoma patients showing tumor heterogeneity: A comparison between primary tumors and corresponding metastatic lesions

Si Hyung Lee, Jee Eun Kim, Hong Sun Jang, Kyu Hyun Park, Byung Ho Oh, Sang Joon Shin, Kee Yang Chung, Mi Ryung Roh, Sun Young Rha

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose Melanoma is a highly heterogeneous neoplasm, composed of subpopulations of tumor cells with distinct molecular and biological phenotypes and genotypes. In this study, to determine the genetic heterogeneity between primary and metastatic melanoma in Korean melanoma patients, we evaluated several well-known genetic alterations of melanoma. In addition, to elucidate the clinical relevance of each genetic alteration and heterogeneity between primary and metastatic lesions, clinical features and patient outcome were collected. Materials and Methods In addition to clinical data, BRAF, NRAS, GNAQ/11mutation and KIT amplification data was acquired from an archived primary Korean melanoma cohort (KMC) of 188 patients. Among these patients, 43 patients were included for investigation of tumor heterogeneity between primary melanoma and its corresponding metastatic lesions. Results Overall incidence of genetic aberrations of the primary melanomas in KMC was 17.6% of BRAF V600, 12.6% of NRASmutation, and 28.6% of KIT amplification. GNAQ/11mutation was seen in 66.6% of the uveal melanoma patients. Patients with BRAF mutation were associated with advanced stage and correlated to poor prognosis (p < 0.01). Among 43 patients, 55.8% showed heterogeneity between primary and metastatic lesion. The frequency of BRAF mutation and KIT amplification significantly increased in the metastatic lesions compared to primary melanomas. GNAQ/11mutation showed 100% homogeneity in uveal melanoma patients. Conclusion Our data demonstrated heterogeneity between primary melanomas and corresponding metastatic lesions for BRAF, NRAS mutation and KIT amplification. However, GNAQ/11 mutation was genetically homogeneous between primary and metastatic melanoma lesions in uveal melanoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1378-1387
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Research and Treatment
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Oct 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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