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Identification of genetic markers involved in development of metastases and second cancers in melanoma (GENMEL)

Project title: “Identification of genetic markers involved in development of metastases and second cancers in melanoma (GENMEL)”

Funding: ERA-NET on Translational Cancer Research (TRANSCAN) Joint Transnational Call for Proposals 2013 (JTC 2013) on: “Translational research on tertiary prevention in cancer patients”

Project No.: GENMEL Z/15/1285 – PRL15/15

Period: 36 months (1st May 2015 – 30st April 2018)

Partners: German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), University of Bergen (UiB), Istituto Nazionale di Riposo e Cura per Anziani (INRCA-IRCCS)

Principle Investigator: Dr.biol. Dace Pjanova

Malignant melanoma is associated with the worst outcome due to its propensity to metastasize and its resistance to therapy. About 20 percent of melanomas progress to regional and distant metastases. The involvement of genetic factors in combination with environmental factors and individual phenotypes are known to increase the risk of primary melanoma. However, the genetic factors that pre-dispose to development of metastases or second primary cancers in melanoma patients remain mostly unknown. Taking advantage of advanced techniques, we propose to identify genetic alterations having a prognostic value in development of metastases and second melanomas in asymptomatic patients that have undergone surgical treatment for primary cutaneous melanoma. We propose to use a two-stage strategy to discover genetic markers prognostic of metastases and second melanomas. In the discovery phase we will use exome-sequencing and genome wide analysis of retroelements to screen tumor and normal DNA from a subgroup of melanoma patients with and without metastases and second melanomas. We will then validate identified markers in the entire pooled collection of tumors tissue samples within the resources of the consortium. This study will reveal genetic markers that can be useful in identifying patients who run a substantial risk of developing metastases or second melanomas.

Information published: 05.05.2015.