• So Close, yet so far: discrepancies between uveal and other melanomas. A position paper from UM Cure 2020

      Rodrigues, M; Koning, L; Coupland, SE; Jochemsen, AG; Marais, Richard; Stern, MH; Valente, A; Barnhill, R; Cassoux, N; Evans, A; et al. (2019)
      Despite much progress in our understanding of uveal melanoma (UM) over the past decades, this rare tumour is still often misclassified. Although UM, like other melanomas, is very probably derived from melanocytes, it is drastically different from cutaneous melanoma and most other melanoma subtypes in terms of epidemiology, aetiology, biology and clinical features, including an intriguing metastatic hepatotropism. UM carries distinctive prognostic chromosome alterations, somatic mutations and gene expression profiles, allowing an active tailored surveillance strategy and dedicated adjuvant clinical trials. There is no standard systemic treatment for disseminated UM at present. In contrast to cutaneous melanoma, UMs are not BRAF-mutated, thus curtailing the use of B-Raf inhibitors. Although these tumours are characterised by some immune infiltrates, immune checkpoint inhibitors are rarely effective, possibly due to a low mutation burden. UM patients across the world not only face rare cancer-related issues (e.g., specific management strategies, access to information and to expert centres), but also specific UM problems, which can be exacerbated by the common misconception that it is a subtype of cutaneous melanoma. As a European Consortium dedicated to research on UM and awareness on the disease, "UM Cure 2020" participants urge medical oncologists, pharmaceutical companies, and regulatory agencies to acknowledge UM as a melanoma with specific issues, in order to accelerate the development of new therapies for patients.