Pandiani C, Béranger GE, Leclerc J, Ballotti R, Bertolotto C
Genes Dev. 2017 Apr;31(8):724-743
Cutaneous melanoma (CM) and uveal melanoma (UM) derive from cutaneous and uveal melanocytes that share the same embryonic origin and display the same cellular function. However, the etiopathogenesis and biological behaviors of these melanomas are very different. CM and UM display distinct landscapes of genetic alterations and show different metastatic routes and tropisms. Hence, therapeutic improvements achieved in the last few years for the treatment of CM have failed to ameliorate the clinical outcomes of patients with UM. The scope of this review is to discuss the differences in tumorigenic processes (etiologic factors and genetic alterations) and tumor biology (gene expression and signaling pathways) between CM and UM. We develop hypotheses to explain these differences, which might provide important clues for research avenues and the identification of actionable vulnerabilities suitable for the development of new therapeutic strategies for metastatic UM.