CHICAGO — Searching for and treating biomarkers is an important part of conjunctival melanoma management, according to a presenter here.
“Management of conjunctival melanoma is more than removing the lump on the surface of the eye,” Carol L. Shields, MD, said at Cornea Subspecialty Day preceding the American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting. “Now we look for molecular markers in all patients to identify high-risk melanoma, because we have medications for biomarkers.”
Carol L. Shields
BRAF, TERT and PTEN mutations have all been identified in conjunctival melanoma, whose incidence is increasing in the U.S., according to Shields.
Whereas PTEN mutations are prevalent in many different cancers, BRAF mutations are found in 40% percent of people with conjunctival melanoma and those individuals have a higher risk for metastasis, she said.
The TERT mutation is a promotor mutation for cutaneous and conjunctival melanoma, Shields said, and survival rates in individuals with that mutation are poor.
All specimens from Shields are now sent to a company that creates a biomarker profile and allows her to treat patients with BRAF, TERT or PTEN mutations, she said. – by Rebecca L. Forand
Reference: Shields CL. What to do with pigmented lesions. Presented at: American Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting; Oct. 14-18, 2016; Chicago.
Disclosure: Shields reports no financial disclosures.