KIT and Melanoma: Biological Insights and Clinical Implications

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Melanoma, originating from epidermal melanocytes, is a heterogeneous disease that has the highest mortality rate among all types of skin cancers. Numerous studies have revealed the cause of this cancer as related to various somatic driver mutations, including alterations in KIT-a proto-oncogene encoding for a transmembrane receptor tyrosine kinase. Although accounting for only 3% of all melanomas, mutations in c-KIT are mostly derived from acral, mucosal, and chronically sun-damaged melanomas. As an important factor for cell differentiation, proliferation, and survival, inhibition of c-KIT has been exploited for clinical trials in advanced melanoma. Here, apart from the molecular background of c-KIT and its cellular functions, we will review the wide distribution of alterations in KlTwith a catalogue of more than 40 mutations reported in various articles and case studies. Additionally, we will summarize the association of KIT mutations with clinicopathologic features (age, sex, melanoma subtypes, anatomic location, etc.), and the differences of mutation rate among subgroups. Finally, several therapeutic trials of c-KIT inhibitors, induding imatinib, dasatinib, nilotinib, and sunitinib, will be analyzed for their success rates and limitations in advanced melanoma treatment. These not only emphasize c-KIT as an attractive target for personalized melanoma therapy but also propose the requirement for additional investigational studies to develop novel therapeutic trials co-targeting c-KIT and other cytokines such as members of signaling pathways and immune systems.
Publisher
YONSEI UNIV COLL MEDICINE
Issue Date
2020-07
Language
English
Article Type
Review
Citation

YONSEI MEDICAL JOURNAL, v.61, no.7, pp.562 - 571

ISSN
0513-5796
DOI
10.3349/ymj.2020.61.7.562
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/276950
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