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Yang, Hui Min; Hsiao, Susan J.; Schäffer, David F.; Lai, Chi; Remotti, Helen E.; Horst, David; Mansukhani, Mahesh M.; Horst, Basil A. (2017): Identification of recurrent mutational events in anorectal melanoma. In: Modern Pathology, Vol. 30, No. 2: pp. 286-296
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Abstract

Anorectal melanoma is a rare disease that carries a poor prognosis. To date, limited genetic analyses confirmed KIT mutations as a recurrent genetic event similar to other mucosal melanomas, occurring in up to 30% of anorectal melanomas. Importantly, a subset of tumors harboring activating KIT mutations have been found to respond to c-Kit inhibitor-based therapy, with improved patient survival at advanced tumor stages. We performed comprehensive targeted exon sequencing analysis of 467 cancer-related genes in a larger series of 15 anorectal melanomas, focusing on potentially actionable variants based on gain- and loss-of-function mutations. We report the identification of oncogenic driver events in the majority (93%) of anorectal melanomas. These included variants in canonical MAPK pathway effectors rarely observed in cutaneous melanomas (including an HRAS mutation, as well as a BRAF mutation resulting in duplication of threonine 599), and recurrent mutations in the tumor suppressor NF1 in 20% of cases, which represented the second-most frequently mutated gene after KIT in our series. Furthermore, we identify SF3B1 mutations as a recurrent genetic event in mucosal melanomas. Our findings provide an insight into the genetic diversity of anorectal melanomas, and suggest significant potential for alternative targeted therapeutics in addition to c-Kit inhibitors for this melanoma subtype.