Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Uveal melanoma


Uveal melanoma represents ∼85% of all ocular melanomas and up to 50% of patients develop metastatic disease. Metastases are most frequently localised to the liver and, as few patients are candidates for potentially curative surgery, this is associated with a poor prognosis. There is currently little published evidence for the optimal management and treatment of metastatic uveal melanoma and the lack of effective therapies in this setting has led to the widespread use of systemic treatments for patients with cutaneous melanoma. Uveal and cutaneous melanomas are intrinsically different diseases and so dedicated management strategies and therapies for uveal melanoma are much needed. This review explores the biology of uveal melanoma and how this relates to ongoing trials of targeted therapies in the metastatic disease setting. In addition, we consider the options to optimise patient management and care.

Concepts: Medicine, Cancer, Disease, Metastasis, Lung cancer, Chemotherapy, Melanoma, Uveal melanoma


We previously identified PRAME as a biomarker for metastatic risk in Class 1 uveal melanomas. In this study, we sought to define a threshold value for positive PRAME expression (PRAME+) in a large dataset, identify factors associated with PRAME expression, evaluate the prognostic value of PRAME in Class 2 uveal melanomas, and determine whether PRAME expression is associated with aberrant hypomethylation of the PRAME promoter.

Concepts: DNA, Gene expression, Cancer, Epigenetics, DNA methylation, Uveal melanoma, Reprogramming


While the role of genetic risk factors in the etiology of uveal melanoma (UM) has been strongly suggested, the genetic susceptibility to UM is currently vastly unexplored. Due to shared epidemiological risk factors between cutaneous melanoma (CM) and UM, in this study we have selected 28 SNPs identified as risk variants in previous genome-wide association studies on CM or CM-related host phenotypes (such as pigmentation and eye color) and tested them for association with UM risk. By logistic regression analysis of 272 UM cases and 1782 controls using an additive model, we identified five variants significantly associated with UM risk, all passing adjustment for multiple testing. The three most significantly associated variants rs12913832 (OR = 0.529, 95% CI 0.415-0.673; p = 8.47E-08), rs1129038 (OR = 0.533, 95% CI 0.419-0.678; p = 1.19E-07) and rs916977 (OR = 0.465, 95% CI 0.339-0.637; p = 3.04E-07) are correlated (r(2) > 0.5) and map at 15q12 in the region of HERC2/OCA2, which determines eye-color in the human population. Our data provides first evidence that the genetic factors associated with pigmentation traits are risk loci of UM susceptibility.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Logistic regression, Gene, Genetics, Population, Melanin, Uveal melanoma, Genetic epidemiology


Comprehensive multiplatform analysis of 80 uveal melanomas (UM) identifies four molecularly distinct, clinically relevant subtypes: two associated with poor-prognosis monosomy 3 (M3) and two with better-prognosis disomy 3 (D3). We show that BAP1 loss follows M3 occurrence and correlates with a global DNA methylation state that is distinct from D3-UM. Poor-prognosis M3-UM divide into subsets with divergent genomic aberrations, transcriptional features, and clinical outcomes. We report change-of-function SRSF2 mutations. Within D3-UM, EIF1AX- and SRSF2/SF3B1-mutant tumors have distinct somatic copy number alterations and DNA methylation profiles, providing insight into the biology of these low- versus intermediate-risk clinical mutation subtypes.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Genetics, Cancer, Mutation, Molecular biology, Melanoma, Uveal melanoma


Personalized treatment of uveal melanoma involves the tailoring of all aspects of care to the condition, needs, wishes, and fears of the patient, taking account of the individual’s circumstances. When selecting between radiotherapy, surgical resection, and phototherapy, or when deciding how best to combine these different therapeutic modalities, it is necessary to understand the patients utilities, with respect to tumour control, visual conservation, and preservation of the eye, so as to prioritize outcomes accordingly. For example, such considerations would influence the width of the safety margins when administering radiotherapy, according to whether the patient considers it more important to conserve vision or to guarantee tumour control. With ‘suspicious naevi’, the choice between observation, immediate treatment, and biopsy is complicated by the lack of adequate survival data on which to base rational decisions, making it necessary for both patient and doctor to accept uncertainty. Personalized care should involve close relatives, as appropriate. It must also adapt to changes in the patient’s needs over time. Such personalized care demands the ability to respond to such needs and the sensitivity to identify these requirements in the first place. Personalized treatment enhances not only the patient’s satisfaction but also the ‘job satisfaction’ of all members of the multidisciplinary team, improving quality of care.Eye advance online publication, 23 November 2012; doi:10.1038/eye.2012.242.

Concepts: Medicine, Cancer, Patient, Radiation therapy, Therapy, Physician, Melanoma, Uveal melanoma


Fine needle aspiration biopsy has become a standard technique to obtain material from primary uveal melanoma for diagnosis, prognostication and research. Cytopathology requires a significantly greater tissue yield for a positive diagnosis compared to other molecular tests. The purpose of this report was to compare sample retrieval for cytopathology between trans-scleral and vitrectomy-assisted transvitreal biopsy in the same tumour in patients who underwent iodine-125 brachytherapy.

Concepts: Comparison, Biopsy, Pathology, Surgery, Medical tests, Needle aspiration biopsy, Uveal melanoma


To review the current features and classification of choroidal melanoma, and to identify the lesions that clinically simulate choroidal melanoma (pseudomelanoma).

Concepts: Melanoma, The Current, Uveal melanoma, Clinical death


To further elucidate the genetic underpinnings of uveal melanoma (UM) and identify new markers that correlate with disease outcome, archival formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded enucleation specimens from 25 patients with UM and a mean follow-up of 14 years were analyzed for whole-genome copy-number alterations using OncoScan analysis. Copy-number alterations of chromosomes 1, 3, 6, and 8 were also analyzed in these tumors using multiplex ligation-dependent probe-amplification, and mutations in GNAQ, GNA11, and BAP1 were searched for by Sanger sequencing. Our study confirms the previously reported GNAQ and GNA11 mutation frequencies in UMs as well as the presence of monosomy 3 as a factor strongly indicating poor prognosis. Two cases with metastatic disease, but without monosomy of chromosome 3, showed loss of a small region in the distal part of chromosome 2p. Also, UMs leading to metastatic disease had more chromosomal aberrations than those without metastases. Three UMs lacking a GNAQ or a GNA11 mutation showed a gain of chromosome 8q; one of these cases showed extensive chromothripsis. Another case (with suspect lung metastasis) showed focal chromothripsis. Our whole-genome copy-number analysis shows that focal loss of chromosome 2p may be involved in the metastatic spread of UMs without monosomy 3; metastatic UMs carry more chromosomal aberrations than those without metastases; and chromothripsis may play a role in the oncogenesis of UMs, but does not necessarily indicate a poor prognosis. The clinical and particularly diagnostic utility of these findings needs to be corroborated in a larger set of patients with UM.

Concepts: DNA, Cancer, Metastasis, Lung cancer, Chromosome, Melanoma, Chromosomes, Uveal melanoma


To investigate the biological fate of cuprous oxide nanoparticles (Cu2O-NPs) and to evaluate their potential in uveal melanoma therapy.

Concepts: Melanoma, Uveal melanoma, Copper(II) oxide, Copper(I) oxide


To describe the time, frequency, and clinical characteristics of treatment failure after I-125 brachytherapy in patients with uveal melanoma treated and followed in a Spanish referral ocular oncology unit.

Concepts: Medicine, Metastasis, Oncology, Chemotherapy, Melanoma, Uveal melanoma, Uvea