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Melanoma rates have increased in populations that are mainly European. The main etiologic factor is ultraviolet radiation, from the sun as well as artificial tanning devices. Host factors such as skin color, number of nevi, hair and eye color and tanning ability are critical factors in modifying an individual’s response to the sun. Genetic factors interact with host factors and environmental factors to increase risk. This review summarizes our current knowledge of environment...

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Because driver mutations provide selective advantage to the mutant clone, they tend to occur at a higher frequency in tumor samples compared to selectively neutral (passenger) mutations. However, mutation frequency alone is insufficient to identify cancer genes because mutability is influenced by many gene characteristics, such as size, nucleotide composition, etc. The goal of this study was to identify gene characteristics associated with the frequency of somatic mutations i...

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BRAF and NRAS mutations arise early in melanoma development, but their associations with low-penetrance melanoma susceptibility loci remain unknown. In the Genes, Environment and Melanoma Study, 1,223 European-origin participants had their incident invasive primary melanomas screened for BRAF/NRAS mutations and germline DNA genotyped for 47 single-nucleotide polymorphisms identified as low-penetrant melanoma-risk variants. We used multinomial logistic regression to simultaneo...

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Adaptive immune responses contribute to the pathogenesis of melanoma by facilitating immune evasion. V-domain Ig suppressor of T-cell activation (VISTA) is a potent negative regulator of T-cell function and is expressed at high levels on monocytes, granulocytes, and macrophages, and at lower densities on T-cell populations within the tumor microenvironment. In this study, 85 primary melanoma specimens were selected from pathology tissue archives and immunohistochemically stai...

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A variety of non-coding RNAs have been reported as endogenous sponges for cancer-modulating miRNAs. However, miRNA trapping by transcripts with protein-coding functions is less understood. The mRNA of TYRP1 is now found to sequester the tumour suppressor miR‑16 on non-canonical miRNA response elements in melanoma, thereby promoting malignant growth.

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Although most hospital-based studies suggest more favorable survival with tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) present in primary melanomas, it is uncertain whether TILs provide prognostic information beyond existing melanoma staging definitions. We addressed the issue in an international population-based study of patients with single and multiple primary melanomas.

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Every year in the United States, approximately 87,000 patients receive the diagnosis of melanoma. Although most of these patients are cured with simple excision, those with node-positive, stage III melanoma are at increased risk for distant metastasis and death. To date, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three adjuvant therapies for such patients, all of which are immunotherapies: high-dose interferon alfa-2b, pegylated interferon alfa, and high-dose ipilimu...

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