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Analysis of the B-RafV600E mutation in cutaneous melanoma patients with occupational sun exposure

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Sun-exposure is one of the risk factors associated with the development of a cutaneous neoplasm. In melanoma, the Ras-Raf-MEK-ERK (MAPK) signaling pathway is constitutively activated through multiple mechanisms, including B-Raf mutation. It has been hypothesized that B-Raf mutations in melanocytic lesions arise from DNA damage induced by ultraviolet (UV) radiation. However, it is still discussed if B-Raf mutations are associated with melanoma patients exposed to the sun. Therefore, in the present study, the known B-RafV600E mutation was analysed in melanoma samples from 30 indoor and 38 outdoor workers. B-RafV600E mutation was detected in 52 and 73% of outdoor workers and indoor workers, respectively. Of note, this mutation was identified in 12 of 14 (85%) melanoma of the trunk diagnosed in indoor workers and in 9 of 19 (47%) samples from outdoor workers (p=0.03). By analyzing melanomas of other body sites, no statistical difference in the frequency of B-RafV600E mutation was identified between the groups of workers. It appears that the mutation detected among indoor workers may be associated with a recreational or intermittent exposure to the sun, as usually the trunk is a sun-protected body site. Overall, these data indicate that the B-RafV600E mutation detected in melanoma is not associated with a chronic exposure to the sun. Mutations detected in other genes may also contribute to melanoma development in the subset of patients exposed to UV radiation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Laboratory of Translational Oncology and Functional Genomics, Section of General Pathology and Oncology, Department of Bio-medical Sciences, University of Catania, Catania 95124, Italy 2: Occupational Medicine, Vittorio Emanuele - Policlinico Hospital, University of Catania, Catania 95100, Italy 3: Section of Occupational Medicine, Department of the Environment, Security, Territory, Food and Health Sciences, University of Messina, Messina 98125, Italy 4: Division of Pathology, Vittorio Emanuele - Policlinico Hospital, University of Catania, Catania 95100, Italy 5: Unit of Oncologic Diseases, ASP-Catania, Catania 95100, Italy 6: Department of Microbiology and Immunology, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA 7: Experimental Oncology 1, CRO National Cancer Institute, Aviano, Italy 8: Department of Virology, Medical School, University of Crete, Heraklion 71003, Crete, Greece

Publication date: March 1, 2014

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