Melanoma Subtypes Can Personalize Treatment
The Melanoma Moon Shot™ team, as part of the The Cancer Genome Atlas,
have participated in an international study to identify melanoma
subtypes. Prior to this study, Melanoma often defied traditional
genetic classification because the vast number of mutations made it
difficult to determine which were driving the cancer. However, after a
five-year study involving more than 300 researchers and rigorous
analysis of samples from 331 patients, researchers were able to
identify four subtypes: BRAF, RAS, NF1 and Triple-WT (wild
Knowing how to genetically define melanoma can lead to more effective personalized medicines. It can also help clinicians develop more accurate prognostic and predictive patient care models.
The other exciting discovery generated by this study was the finding that within each Melanoma subtype, there was a subset that demonstrated immune infiltration. Such activity correlates with improved survival. This information can prove useful in the emerging field of immunotherapy, which has shown success in treating some late-stage Melanoma patients.