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M. Schlaak, A. Bajah, T. Podewski, N. Kreuzberg, W. von Bartenwerffer, E. Wardelmann, S. Merkelbach-Bruse, R. Büttner, C. Mauch and P. Kurschat Assessment of clinical parameters associated with mutational status in metastatic malignant melanoma: a single-centre investigation of 141 patients British Journal of Dermatology 168

Article first published online: 25 MAR 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/bjd.12140

What’s already known about this topic?

  •  Approximately 50% of melanomas arising from intermittently sun-exposed areas harbour activating BRAF mutations. These patients can be successfully treated with selectively acting BRAF inhibitors.
  •  Mutations in the KIT gene are more prevalent in mucosal or acrolentiginous melanoma.
  •  A recent publication showed a positive correlation between activating BRAF mutations and younger age as well as with the number of melanocytic naevi.

What does this study add?

  •  We provide a clinical characterization of 141 patients with metastatic melanoma with or without activating BRAF mutations. Signs of photodamage and previous ultraviolet exposure did not correlate with mutational status.
  •  In stage IV disease, survival of patients with a BRAF mutation was identical to that of patients with BRAF mutation-negative tumours.
  •  The low frequency of KIT mutations in Europe has not been described before.

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