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Mol Oncol. 2008 Apr;1(4):395-405. doi: 10.1016/j.molonc.2007.12.003. Epub 2007 Dec 28.

Human cutaneous melanoma; a review of NRAS and BRAF mutation frequencies in relation to histogenetic subclass and body site.

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  • 1Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institute, Cancer Centre Karolinska, Karolinska University Hospital Solna, Stockholm S-17176, Sweden.


A majority of cutaneous melanomas show activating mutations in the NRAS or BRAF proto-oncogenes, components of the Ras-Raf-Mek-Erk signal transduction pathway. Consistent data demonstrate the early appearance, in a mutually exclusive manner, of these mutations. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the literature on NRAS and BRAF activating mutations in melanoma tumors with respect to available data on histogenetic classification as well as body site and presumed UV-exposure. Common alterations of the signal transducing network seem to represent molecular hallmarks of cutaneous melanomas and therefore should continue to strongly stimulate design and testing of targeted molecular interventions.

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