Author Interviews, Genetic Research, JAMA, Melanoma / 10.04.2015
Melanoma: BRAF or NRAS Mutations Associated With Worse Survival
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nancy E. Thomas, MD, PhD Department of Dermatology University of North Carolina MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Dr. Thomas: BRAF and NRAS mutations found in melanomas are important for tumor initiation and maintenance. There are drugs that target BRAF mutations or the pathway that are approved for BRAF-mutant metastatic melanoma and help improve survival. However, it remains unknown whether these mutations in primary melanoma are markers for melanomas with a worse prognosis. MedicalResearch: What are the main findings? Dr. Thomas:
- In a large international population-based study, we found that of primary melanomas, 30% harbor BRAF mutations, 13% have NRAS mutations and the other 57% do not have these mutations (wildtype).
- In higher primary tumor stage melanomas, BRAF or NRAS mutations were associated with an approximately 3-fold increased rate of death from melanoma compared to wildtype melanoma adjusted for other prognostic factors.
- Primary melanomas with NRAS mutations were less likely to have tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in the tumor microenvironment. (more…)