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Simone L. Scholz, Inga Möller, Henning Reis, Daniela Süßkind, Johannes A. P. van de Nes, Sonia Leonardelli, Bastian Schilling, Elisabeth Livingstone, Tobias Schimming, Annette Paschen, Antje Sucker, Rajmohan Murali, Klaus-Peter Steuhl, Dirk Schadendorf, Henrike Westekemper, Klaus G. Griewank; Frequent GNAQ, GNA11, and EIF1AX Mutations in Iris Melanoma. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(9):3464-3470. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.17-21838.
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The most common malignant intraocular tumors with a high mortality in adults are uveal melanomas. Uveal melanomas arise most frequently in the choroid or ciliary body (97%) and rarely in the iris (3%). Whereas conjunctival and posterior uveal (ciliary body and choroidal) melanomas have been studied in more detail genetically, little data exist regarding iris melanomas.
In our study, we genetically analyzed 19 iris melanomas, 8 ciliary body melanomas, 3 ring melanomas, and 4 iris nevi. A targeted next-generation sequencing approach was applied, covering the mutational hotspot regions of nine genes known to be mutated in conjunctival and uveal melanoma (BRAF, NRAS, KIT, GNAQ, GNA11, CYSLTR2, SF3B1, EIF1AX, and BAP1).
Activating GNAQ or GNA11 hotspot mutations were detected in a mutually exclusive fashion in 84% (16/19) of iris melanomas. EIF1AX gene mutations also were frequent, detected in 42% (8/19) of iris melanomas. In 4 iris nevi, one GNAQ mutation was identified. GNAQ, GNA11, EIF1AX, and BAP1 mutations were identified at varying frequencies in ciliary body and ring melanomas.
In this most comprehensive genetic analysis of iris melanomas published to date, we find iris melanomas to be related genetically to choroidal and ciliary body melanomas, frequently harboring GNAQ, GNA11, and EIF1AX mutations. Future studies will need to assess if screening mutation profiles in iris melanomas may be of diagnostic or prognostic value.
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