Genetics of Ocular Melanoma: Insights into Genetics, Inheritance and Testing

Natasha M van Poppelen, Daniël P. de Bruyn, Tolga Bicer, Rob Verdijk, Nicole Naus, Hanneke Mensink, Dion Paridaens, Annelies de Klein, Erwin Brosens, Emine Kiliҫ

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Ocular melanoma consists of posterior uveal melanoma, iris melanoma and conjunctival melanoma. These malignancies derive from melanocytes in the uveal tract or conjunctiva. The genetic profiles of these different entities differ from each other. In uveal melanoma, GNAQ and GNA11 gene mutations are frequently found and prognosis is based on mutation status of BAP1, SF3B1 and EIF1AX genes. Iris melanoma, also originating from the uvea, has similarities to the genetic makeups of both posterior uveal melanoma (UM) and conjunctival melanoma since mutations in GNAQ and GNA11 are less common and genes involved in conjunctival melanoma such as BRAF have been described. The genetic spectrum of conjunctival melanoma, however, includes frequent mutations in the BRAF, NRAS and TERT promoter genes, which are found in cutaneous melanoma as well. The BRAF status of the tumor is not correlated to prognosis, whereas the TERT promoter gene mutations are. Clinical presentation, histopathological characteristics and copy number alterations are associated with survival in ocular melanoma. Tissue material is needed to classify ocular melanoma in the different subgroups, which creates a need for the use of noninvasive techniques to prognosticate patients who underwent eye preserving treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2020


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