Melanoma: Genetic Abnormalities, Tumor Progression, Clonal Evolution and Tumor Initiating Cells

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Abstract

Melanoma is an aggressive neoplasia issued from the malignant transformation of melanocytes, the pigment-generating cells of the skin. It is responsible for about 75% of deaths due to skin cancers. Melanoma is a phenotypically and molecularly heterogeneous disease: cutaneous, uveal, acral, and mucosal melanomas have different clinical courses, are associated with different mutational profiles, and possess distinct risk factors. The discovery of the molecular abnormalities underlying melanomas has led to the promising improvement of therapy, and further progress is expected in the near future. The study of melanoma precursor lesions has led to the suggestion that the pathway of tumor evolution implies the progression from benign naevi, to dysplastic naevi, to melanoma in situ and then to invasive and metastatic melanoma. The gene alterations characterizing melanomas tend to accumulate in these precursor lesions in a sequential order. Studies carried out in recent years have, in part, elucidated the great tumorigenic potential of melanoma tumor cells. These findings have led to speculation that the cancer stem cell model cannot be applied to melanoma because, in this malignancy, tumor cells possess an intrinsic plasticity, conferring the capacity to initiate and maintain the neoplastic process to phenotypically different tumor cells.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBehavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland)
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 20 2017

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Clonal Evolution
Neoplastic Stem Cells
Melanoma
Neoplasms
Uveal Diseases
Dysplastic Nevus Syndrome
Nevi and Melanomas
Neoplastic Processes
Skin
Nevus
Melanocytes
Skin Neoplasms
Extremities

Cite this

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title = "Melanoma: Genetic Abnormalities, Tumor Progression, Clonal Evolution and Tumor Initiating Cells",
abstract = "Melanoma is an aggressive neoplasia issued from the malignant transformation of melanocytes, the pigment-generating cells of the skin. It is responsible for about 75{\%} of deaths due to skin cancers. Melanoma is a phenotypically and molecularly heterogeneous disease: cutaneous, uveal, acral, and mucosal melanomas have different clinical courses, are associated with different mutational profiles, and possess distinct risk factors. The discovery of the molecular abnormalities underlying melanomas has led to the promising improvement of therapy, and further progress is expected in the near future. The study of melanoma precursor lesions has led to the suggestion that the pathway of tumor evolution implies the progression from benign naevi, to dysplastic naevi, to melanoma in situ and then to invasive and metastatic melanoma. The gene alterations characterizing melanomas tend to accumulate in these precursor lesions in a sequential order. Studies carried out in recent years have, in part, elucidated the great tumorigenic potential of melanoma tumor cells. These findings have led to speculation that the cancer stem cell model cannot be applied to melanoma because, in this malignancy, tumor cells possess an intrinsic plasticity, conferring the capacity to initiate and maintain the neoplastic process to phenotypically different tumor cells.",
author = "Ugo Testa and Germana Castelli and Elvira Pelosi",
year = "2017",
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journal = "Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland)",
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TY - JOUR

T1 - Melanoma

T2 - Genetic Abnormalities, Tumor Progression, Clonal Evolution and Tumor Initiating Cells

AU - Testa, Ugo

AU - Castelli, Germana

AU - Pelosi, Elvira

PY - 2017/11/20

Y1 - 2017/11/20

N2 - Melanoma is an aggressive neoplasia issued from the malignant transformation of melanocytes, the pigment-generating cells of the skin. It is responsible for about 75% of deaths due to skin cancers. Melanoma is a phenotypically and molecularly heterogeneous disease: cutaneous, uveal, acral, and mucosal melanomas have different clinical courses, are associated with different mutational profiles, and possess distinct risk factors. The discovery of the molecular abnormalities underlying melanomas has led to the promising improvement of therapy, and further progress is expected in the near future. The study of melanoma precursor lesions has led to the suggestion that the pathway of tumor evolution implies the progression from benign naevi, to dysplastic naevi, to melanoma in situ and then to invasive and metastatic melanoma. The gene alterations characterizing melanomas tend to accumulate in these precursor lesions in a sequential order. Studies carried out in recent years have, in part, elucidated the great tumorigenic potential of melanoma tumor cells. These findings have led to speculation that the cancer stem cell model cannot be applied to melanoma because, in this malignancy, tumor cells possess an intrinsic plasticity, conferring the capacity to initiate and maintain the neoplastic process to phenotypically different tumor cells.

AB - Melanoma is an aggressive neoplasia issued from the malignant transformation of melanocytes, the pigment-generating cells of the skin. It is responsible for about 75% of deaths due to skin cancers. Melanoma is a phenotypically and molecularly heterogeneous disease: cutaneous, uveal, acral, and mucosal melanomas have different clinical courses, are associated with different mutational profiles, and possess distinct risk factors. The discovery of the molecular abnormalities underlying melanomas has led to the promising improvement of therapy, and further progress is expected in the near future. The study of melanoma precursor lesions has led to the suggestion that the pathway of tumor evolution implies the progression from benign naevi, to dysplastic naevi, to melanoma in situ and then to invasive and metastatic melanoma. The gene alterations characterizing melanomas tend to accumulate in these precursor lesions in a sequential order. Studies carried out in recent years have, in part, elucidated the great tumorigenic potential of melanoma tumor cells. These findings have led to speculation that the cancer stem cell model cannot be applied to melanoma because, in this malignancy, tumor cells possess an intrinsic plasticity, conferring the capacity to initiate and maintain the neoplastic process to phenotypically different tumor cells.

U2 - 10.3390/medsci5040028

DO - 10.3390/medsci5040028

M3 - Review article

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VL - 5

JO - Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland)

JF - Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland)

SN - 2076-328X

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ER -