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Punctuated evolution of canonical genomic aberrations in uveal melanoma

Cancer is thought to arise through the accumulation of genomic aberrations evolving under Darwinian selection. However, it remains unclear when the aberrations associated with metastasis emerge during tumor evolution. Uveal melanoma (UM) is the most common primary eye cancer and frequently leads to metastatic death, which is strongly linked to BAP1 mutations. Accordingly, UM is ideally suited for studying the clonal evolution of metastatic competence. Here we analyze sequencing data from 151 primary UM samples using a customized bioinformatic pipeline, to improve detection of BAP1 mutations and infer the clonal relationships among genomic aberrations. Strikingly, we find BAP1 mutations and other canonical genomic aberrations usually arise in an early punctuated burst, followed by neutral evolution extending to the time of clinical detection. This implies that the metastatic proclivity of UM is “set in stone” early in tumor evolution and may explain why advances in primary treatment have not improved survival.
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-02428-w

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Epigenetic reprogramming and aberrant expression of PRAME are associated with increased metastatic risk in Class 1 and Class 2 uveal melanomas

Background: 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.

Results: Among 678 samples analyzed by qPCR, 498 (73.5%) were PRAME- and 180 (26.5%) were PRAME+. Class 1 tumors were more likely to be PRAME-, whereas Class 2 tumors were more likely to be PRAME+ (P < 0.0001). PRAME expression was associated with shorter time to metastasis and melanoma specific mortality in Class 2 tumors (P = 0.01 and P = 0.02, respectively). In Class 1 tumors, PRAME expression was directly associated with SF3B1 mutations (P < 0.0001) and inversely associated with EIF1AX mutations (P = 0.004). PRAME expression was strongly associated with hypomethylation at 12 CpG sites near the PRAME promoter.

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Collaborative Ocular Oncology Group Report Number 1: Prospective Validation of a Multi-Gene Prognostic Assay in Uveal Melanoma

Purpose: This study evaluates the prognostic performance of a 15 gene expression profiling (GEP) assay that assigns primary posterior uveal melanomas to prognostic subgroups: class 1 (low metastatic risk) and class 2 (high metastatic risk).

Conclusions: The GEP assay had a high technical success rate and was the most accurate prognostic marker among all of the factors analyzed. The GEP provided a highly significant improvement in prognostic accuracy over clinical TNM classification and chromosome 3 status. Chromosome 3 status did not provide prognostic information that was independent of GEP.

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PRAME as an Independent Biomarker for Metastasis in Uveal Melanoma

Purpose: Uveal melanoma (UM) can be classified by gene expression profiling (GEP) into Class 1 (low metastatic risk) and Class 2 (high metastatic risk), the latter being strongly associated with mutational inactivation of the tumor suppressor BAP1. Nevertheless, a small percentage of Class 1 tumors give rise to metastatic disease. The purpose of this study was to identify biomarkers of metastasis in Class 1 tumors.

Conclusions: PRAME is an independent prognostic biomarker in UM, which identifies increased metastatic risk in patients with Class 1 or disomy 3 tumors. This finding may further enhance the accuracy of prognostic testing and precision medicine for UM. Clin Cancer Res; 22(5); 1234–42. 2016 AACR.

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