Current Treatment Options in Oncology

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 336–350

Clinical Applications of Melanoma Genetics

Skin Cancer (WH Sharfman, Section Editor)

Opinion statement

Families that have several relatives with melanoma, multiple primary melanomas in one individual, younger than average ages of melanoma onset, and/or the presence of both pancreatic cancer and melanoma may be suggestive of a hereditary melanoma syndrome and are candidates for genetic counseling and risk assessment. Genetic counseling for hereditary melanoma presents many complexities. Only a minority of hereditary melanoma cases have been attributed to a single genetic factor, CDKN2A. Both the frequency and the penetrance of CDKN2A mutations has been shown to be dependent on multiple factors. The clinical utility of genetic testing for hereditary melanoma families is debatable because CDKN2A status may not impact medical management in patients with melanoma. No standard medical management guidelines exist for families with CDKN2A mutations; however, family history of melanoma and pancreatic cancer may warrant further discussion. Clinicians should discuss the clinical and psychological implications before genetic testing. Genetic counseling and pretest education regarding melanoma risk factors provides an opportunity to increase knowledge and understanding of melanoma risk, while addressing psychological risks and concerns.


CDKN2A CDK4 Genetic counseling Hereditary Melanoma MC1R Skin cancer surveillance 

References and Recommended Reading

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BostonUSA

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