, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 449-457
Date: 22 Jun 2012

Driver Mutations in Melanoma: Lessons Learned From Bench-to-Bedside Studies

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Abstract

The identification of somatic driver mutations in human samples has allowed for the development of a molecular classification for melanoma. Recent breakthroughs in the treatment of metastatic melanoma have arisen as a result of these significant new insights into the molecular biology of the disease, particularly the development of inhibitors of activating BRAFV600E mutations. In this article the roles of several mutations known to be involved in the malignant transformation of melanocytes are reviewed including BRAF, PTEN, NRAS, ckit, and p16 as well as some of the emerging mutations in cutaneous and uveal melanoma. The bench to bedside collaborations that resulted in these discoveries are summarized, and potential therapeutic strategies to target driver mutations in specific patient subsets are discussed.