Understanding the progression of melanocytic neoplasia using genomic analysis: from fields to cancer

Boris C Bastian


Analysis of DNA copy number changes using comparative genomic hybridization in melanocytic neoplasms has revealed distinct patterns of chromosomal aberrations between benign melanocytic nevi and melanoma. Whereas the vast majority of melanoma expresses chromosomal aberrations, blue nevi, congenital nevi, and most Spitz nevi typically show no aberrations. A subset of Spitz nevi shows an isolated gain of chromosome 11p, an aberration pattern not observed in melanoma. These Spitz nevi frequently harbor mutations in the HRAS gene located on this chromosomal arm. Comparisons among melanoma types showed that melanomas of the palms, soles, and subungual sites can be distinguished by the presence of multiple gene amplifications that arise very early in their progression. About 50% of these amplifications are found at the cyclin D1 locus. By contrast, amplifications are significantly less frequent in other cutaneous melanoma types and if present arise late in progression. The frequent amplifications in melanomas on acral sites allowed the detection of single basal melanocytes with gene amplifications in the histologically normal appearing skin immediately adjacent to a melanoma. These "field cells" represent subtle melanoma in situ and ...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Malignant Neoplasm of Skin
Chromosome 11p Deletion Syndrome
Melanoma, Cutaneous Malignant,1
Cell Aging
DNA Copy Number Changes
Cutaneous Melanoma

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