Molecular Biomarkers May Help Determine Which Melanomas Will Spread

Iman Osman, MD Professor, Departments of Dermatology, Medicine and Urology Associate Director, NYU Cancer Institute  Director, Interdisciplinary Melanoma Program  New York University Langone Medical Center New York, NY 10016MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Iman Osman, MD

Professor, Departments of Dermatology, Medicine and Urology
Associate Director
The Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center
Director, Interdisciplinary Melanoma Program
New York University Langone Medical Center
New York, NY 10016

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Osman: We were interested in exploring molecules that could be biomarkers or functional regulators of metastasis in melanoma in early-stage tumor lesions on the skin. Though these tumors are treated largely the same (by surgical removal ), patients with these tumors have vastly different outcomes (apparent cure vs. metastatic spread of the disease). The reasons for these disparities are unclear and we have little ability to identify or predict the patients that will be cured and those that won’t. We also don’t have much data to know even if these tumors have differences at the molecular level. Our findings indicate that there are molecular differences in these tumors and that some of these differences contribute to tumor spread. 

MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Osman: The importance of studying melanoma at its earliest stages and understand the mechanisms that can contribute to the evolution of disease progression.

MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Osman: Future research should focus on two things.

One is a further dissection/characterization of the mechanisms used by tumor cells to escape the early-stage skin tumor and spread throughout the body.

A second is to further examine these molecules (and others present in the data sets) for their ability to improve prognostication or stratification of patients by their risk of developing advanced disease.

Citation:

Homologous-recombination-deficient tumours are dependent on Polθ-mediated repair

Cancer Discovery Published OnlineFirst February 12, 2015; doi:10.1158/2159-8290.CD-RW2015-026

 

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:  Iman Osman, MD (2015). Molecular Biomarkers May Help Determine Which Melanomas Will Spread