Somatic driver mutations in melanoma.

Melanoma has one of the highest somatic mutational burdens among solid malignancies. Although the rapid progress in genomic research has contributed immensely to our understanding of the pathogenesis of melanoma, the clinical significance of the vast array of genomic alterations discovered by next-generation sequencing is far from being fully characterized. Most mutations prevalent in melanoma are simply neutral “passengers,” which accompany functionally significant “drivers” under transforming conditions. The delineation of driver mutations from passenger mutations is critical to the development of targeted therapies. Novel advances in genomic data analysis have aided in distinguishing true driver mutations involved in tumor progression. Here, the authors review the current literature on important somatic driver mutations in melanoma, along with the implications for treatment. Cancer 2017;123:2104-17. © 2017 American Cancer Society.

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