The Genomic Landscape of Childhood and Adolescent Melanoma.

J Invest Dermatol. 2014 Sep 30. doi: 10.1038/jid.2014.425. [Epub ahead of print]


Despite remarkable advances in the genomic characterization of adult melanoma, the molecular pathogenesis of pediatric melanoma remains largely unknown. We analyzed 15 conventional melanomas (CM), 3 melanomas arising in congenital nevi (CNM), and 5 spitzoid melanomas (SM), using various platforms, including whole genome or exome sequencing, molecular inversion probe assay, and/or targeted sequencing. CM demonstrated a high burden of somatic single nucleotide variations (SNV), with each case containing a TERT promoter (TERT-p) mutation, 13/15 containing an activating BRAF V600 mutation, and >80% of the identified SNV consistent with UV damage. By contrast, the 3 CNM contained an activating NRAS Q61 mutation and no TERT-p mutations. SM were characterized by chromosomal rearrangements resulting in activated kinase signaling in 40%, and an absence of TERT-p mutations except for the one SM that succumbed to hematogenous metastasis. We conclude that pediatric CM has a very similar UV-induced mutational spectrum to that found in the adult counterpart, emphasizing the need to promote sun protection practices in early life and to improve access to therapeutic agents being explored in adults in young patients. By contrast, the pathogenesis of CNM appears to be distinct. TERT-p mutations may identify the rare subset of spitzoid melanocytic lesions prone to disseminate.


Lu C, Zhang J, Nagahawatte P, Easton J, Lee S, Liu Z, Ding L, Wyczalkowski MA, Valentine M, Navid F, Mulder H, Tatevossian R, Dalton J, Davenport J, Yin Z, Edmonson M, Rusch M, Wu G, Li Y, Parker M, Hedlund E, Shurtleff S, Raimondi S, Bhavin V, Donald Y, Mardis ER, Wilson RK, Evans WE, Ellison DW, Pounds S, Dyer M, Downing JR, Pappo A, Bahrami A.