Publications by authors named "Donato Calista"

48 Publications

Novel MAPK/AKT-impairing germline NRAS variant identified in a melanoma-prone family.

Fam Cancer 2021 Jul 3. Epub 2021 Jul 3.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, 9609 Medical Center Drive, EPS 7106, Bethesda, MD, 20892, USA.

While several high-penetrance melanoma risk genes are known, variation in these genes fail to explain melanoma susceptibility in a large proportion of high-risk families. As part of a melanoma family sequencing study, including 435 families from Mediterranean populations we identified a novel NRAS variant (c.170A > C, p.D57A) in an Italian melanoma-prone family. This variant is absent in exomes in gnomAD, ESP, UKBiobank, and the 1000 Genomes Project, as well as in 11,273 Mediterranean individuals and 109 melanoma-prone families from the US and Australia. This variant occurs in the GTP-binding pocket of NRAS. Differently from other RAS activating alterations, NRAS D57A expression is unable to activate MAPK-pathway both constitutively and after stimulation but enhances EGF-induced PI3K-pathway signaling in serum starved conditions in vitro. Consistent with in vitro data demonstrating that NRAS D57A does not enrich GTP binding, molecular modeling suggests that the D57A substitution would be expected to impair Mg2 + binding and decrease nucleotide-binding and GTPase activity of NRAS. While we cannot firmly establish NRAS c.170A > C (p.D57A) as a melanoma susceptibility variant, further investigation of NRAS as a familial melanoma gene is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10689-021-00267-9DOI Listing
July 2021

Genome-wide association meta-analyses combining multiple risk phenotypes provide insights into the genetic architecture of cutaneous melanoma susceptibility.

Nat Genet 2020 05 27;52(5):494-504. Epub 2020 Apr 27.

Department of Dermatology, Instituto Valenciano de Oncología, Valencia, Spain.

Most genetic susceptibility to cutaneous melanoma remains to be discovered. Meta-analysis genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 36,760 cases of melanoma (67% newly genotyped) and 375,188 controls identified 54 significant (P < 5 × 10) loci with 68 independent single nucleotide polymorphisms. Analysis of risk estimates across geographical regions and host factors suggests the acral melanoma subtype is uniquely unrelated to pigmentation. Combining this meta-analysis with GWAS of nevus count and hair color, and transcriptome association approaches, uncovered 31 potential secondary loci for a total of 85 cutaneous melanoma susceptibility loci. These findings provide insights into cutaneous melanoma genetic architecture, reinforcing the importance of nevogenesis, pigmentation and telomere maintenance, together with identifying potential new pathways for cutaneous melanoma pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-020-0611-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7255059PMC
May 2020

Histologic features of melanoma associated with germline mutations of CDKN2A, CDK4, and POT1 in melanoma-prone families from the United States, Italy, and Spain.

J Am Acad Dermatol 2020 Sep 10;83(3):860-869. Epub 2020 Apr 10.

Clinical Genetics Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, Maryland.

Background: CDKN2A, CDK4, and POT1 are well-established melanoma-susceptibility genes.

Objective: We evaluated melanoma histopathology for individuals with germline mutations of CDKN2A, CDK4, and POT1.

Methods: We assessed histopathology for melanomas diagnosed in melanoma-prone families (≥2 individuals with melanoma) from the United States, Italy, and Spain. Comparisons between mutation carriers and noncarriers (no mutation) were adjusted for age, sex, Breslow depth, and correlations among individuals within the same family.

Results: Histologic slides were evaluated for 290 melanomas (139 from 132 noncarriers, 122 from 68 CDKN2A carriers, 10 from 6 CDK4 carriers, and 19 from 16 POT1 carriers). Superficial spreading was the predominant subtype for all groups. Spitzoid morphology (>25% of tumor) was observed in 10 of 15 invasive melanomas (67%) from POT1 carriers (P < .0001 vs noncarriers). This finding was independently confirmed by 3 expert melanoma dermatopathologists in 9 of 15 invasive melanomas (60%). In situ and invasive melanomas from CDKN2A and CDK4 carriers were histologically similar to melanomas from noncarriers.

Limitations: Limited sample sizes for rare melanoma-susceptibility syndromes (CDK4, POT1).

Conclusion: Spitzoid morphology was associated with POT1 mutations suggesting that telomere dysfunction (POT1 mutations) may contribute to spitzoid differentiation in melanocytic tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2020.03.100DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7505133PMC
September 2020

Contribution of Common Genetic Variants to Familial Aggregation of Disease and Implications for Sequencing Studies.

PLoS Genet 2019 11 15;15(11):e1008490. Epub 2019 Nov 15.

Biostatistics Branch: Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, Maryland, United States of America.

Despite genetics being accepted as the primary cause of familial aggregation for most diseases, it is still unclear whether afflicted families are likely to share a single highly penetrant rare variant, many minimally penetrant common variants, or a combination of the two types of variants. We therefore use recent estimates of SNP heritability and the liability threshold model to estimate the proportion of afflicted families likely to carry a rare, causal variant. We then show that Polygenic Risk Scores (PRS) may be useful for identifying families likely to carry such a rare variant and therefore for prioritizing families to include in sequencing studies with that aim. Specifically, we introduce a new statistic that estimates the proportion of individuals carrying causal rare variants based on the family structure, disease pattern, and PRS of genotyped individuals. Finally, we consider data from the MelaNostrum consortium and show that, despite an estimated PRS heritability of only 0.05 for melanoma, families carrying putative causal variants had a statistically significantly lower PRS, supporting the idea that PRS prioritization may be a useful future tool. However, it will be important to evaluate whether the presence of rare mendelian variants are generally associated with the proposed test statistic or lower PRS in future and larger studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1008490DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6881075PMC
November 2019

Estimating CDKN2A mutation carrier probability among global familial melanoma cases using GenoMELPREDICT.

J Am Acad Dermatol 2019 Aug 5;81(2):386-394. Epub 2019 Feb 5.

Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University Hospital Lund, Sweden; Department of Surgery, Lund University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.

Background: Although rare in the general population, highly penetrant germline mutations in CDKN2A are responsible for 5%-40% of melanoma cases reported in melanoma-prone families. We sought to determine whether MELPREDICT was generalizable to a global series of families with melanoma and whether performance improvements can be achieved.

Methods: In total, 2116 familial melanoma cases were ascertained by the international GenoMEL Consortium. We recapitulated the MELPREDICT model within our data (GenoMELPREDICT) to assess performance improvements by adding phenotypic risk factors and history of pancreatic cancer. We report areas under the curve (AUC) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) along with net reclassification indices (NRIs) as performance metrics.

Results: MELPREDICT performed well (AUC 0.752, 95% CI 0.730-0.775), and GenoMELPREDICT performance was similar (AUC 0.748, 95% CI 0.726-0.771). Adding a reported history of pancreatic cancer yielded discriminatory improvement (P < .0001) in GenoMELPREDICT (AUC 0.772, 95% CI 0.750-0.793, NRI 0.40). Including phenotypic risk factors did not improve performance.

Conclusion: The MELPREDICT model functioned well in a global data set of familial melanoma cases. Adding pancreatic cancer history improved model prediction. GenoMELPREDICT is a simple tool for predicting CDKN2A mutational status among melanoma patients from melanoma-prone families and can aid in directing these patients to receive genetic testing or cancer risk counseling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2019.01.079DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6634996PMC
August 2019

Prevalence of pathogenic/likely pathogenic variants in the 24 cancer genes of the ACMG Secondary Findings v2.0 list in a large cancer cohort and ethnicity-matched controls.

Genome Med 2018 12 24;10(1):99. Epub 2018 Dec 24.

Behavioral and Epidemiology Research Group, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Background: Prior research has established that the prevalence of pathogenic/likely pathogenic (P/LP) variants across all of the American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) Secondary Findings (SF) genes is approximately 0.8-5%. We investigated the prevalence of P/LP variants in the 24 ACMG SF v2.0 cancer genes in a family-based cancer research cohort (n = 1173) and in cancer-free ethnicity-matched controls (n = 982).

Methods: We used InterVar to classify variants and subsequently conducted a manual review to further examine variants of unknown significance (VUS).

Results: In the 24 genes on the ACMG SF v2.0 list associated with a cancer phenotype, we observed 8 P/LP unique variants (8 individuals; 0.8%) in controls and 11 P/LP unique variants (14 individuals; 1.2%) in cases, a non-significant difference. We reviewed 115 VUS. The median estimated per-variant review time required was 30 min; the first variant within a gene took significantly (p = 0.0009) longer to review (median = 60 min) compared with subsequent variants (median = 30 min). The concordance rate was 83.3% for the variants examined by two reviewers.

Conclusion: The 115 VUS required database and literature review, a time- and labor-intensive process hampered by the difficulty in interpreting conflicting P/LP determinations. By rigorously investigating the 24 ACMG SF v2.0 cancer genes, our work establishes a benchmark P/LP variant prevalence rate in a familial cancer cohort and controls.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13073-018-0607-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6305568PMC
December 2018

MelaNostrum: a consensus questionnaire of standardized epidemiologic and clinical variables for melanoma risk assessment by the melanostrum consortium.

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2018 Dec 14;32(12):2134-2141. Epub 2018 Sep 14.

Human Genetics Program, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Background: Many melanoma observational studies have been carried out across different countries and geographic areas using heterogeneous assessments of epidemiologic risk factors and clinical variables.

Aim: To develop a consensus questionnaire to standardize epidemiologic and clinical data collection for melanoma risk assessment.

Methods: We used a stepwise strategy that included: compilation of variables from case-control datasets collected at various centres of the MelaNostrum Consortium; integration of variables from published case-control studies; consensus discussion of the collected items by MelaNostrum members; revision by independent experts; addition of online tools and image-based charts; questionnaire testing across centres and generation of a final draft.

Results: We developed a core consensus questionnaire (MelanoQ) that includes four separate sections: A. general and demographic data; B. phenotypic and ultraviolet radiation exposure risk factors and lifestyle habits; C. clinical examination, medical and family history; and D. diagnostic data on melanoma (cases only). Accompanying online tools, informative tables, and image-based charts aid standardization. Different subsections of the questionnaire are designed for self-administration, patient interviews performed by a physician or study nurse, and data collection from medical records.

Conclusions: The MelanoQ questionnaire is a useful tool for the collection and standardization of epidemiologic and clinical data across different studies, centres, cultures and languages. This will expedite ongoing efforts to compile high-quality data for pooled analyses or meta-analyses and offer a solid base for the design of clinical, epidemiologic and translational studies on melanoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jdv.15208DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7100361PMC
December 2018

Combining common genetic variants and non-genetic risk factors to predict risk of cutaneous melanoma.

Hum Mol Genet 2018 12;27(23):4145-4156

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Melanoma heritability is among the highest for cancer and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) contribute to it. To date, only SNPs that reached statistical significance in genome-wide association studies or few candidate SNPs have been included in melanoma risk prediction models. We compared four approaches for building polygenic risk scores (PRS) using 12 874 melanoma cases and 23 203 controls from Melanoma Meta-Analysis Consortium as a training set, and newly genotyped 3102 cases and 2301 controls from the MelaNostrum consortium for validation. We estimated adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for melanoma risk using traditional melanoma risk factors and the PRS with the largest area under the receiver operator characteristics curve (AUC). We estimated absolute risks combining the PRS and other risk factors, with age- and sex-specific melanoma incidence and competing mortality rates from Italy as an example. The best PRS, including 204 SNPs (AUC = 64.4%; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 63-65.8%), developed using winner's curse estimate corrections, had a per-quintile OR = 1.35 (95% CI = 1.30-1.41), corresponding to a 3.33-fold increase comparing the 5th to the 1st PRS quintile. The AUC improvement by adding the PRS was up to 7%, depending on adjusted factors and country. The 20-year absolute risk estimates based on the PRS, nevus count and pigmentation characteristics for a 60-year-old Italian man ranged from 0.5 to 11.8% (relative risk  = 26.34), indicating good separation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddy282DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6240742PMC
December 2018

Germline Variation at CDKN2A and Associations with Nevus Phenotypes among Members of Melanoma Families.

J Invest Dermatol 2017 12 19;137(12):2606-2612. Epub 2017 Aug 19.

Melanoma Institute Australia, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia; Westmead Institute for Cancer Research, University of Sydney at Westmead Millennium Institute, New South Wales, Australia.

Germline mutations in CDKN2A are frequently identified among melanoma kindreds and are associated with increased atypical nevus counts. However, a clear relationship between pathogenic CDKN2A mutation carriage and other nevus phenotypes including counts of common acquired nevi has not yet been established. Using data from GenoMEL, we investigated the relationships between CDKN2A mutation carriage and 2-mm, 5-mm, and atypical nevus counts among blood-related members of melanoma families. Compared with individuals without a pathogenic mutation, those who carried one had an overall higher prevalence of atypical (odds ratio = 1.64; 95% confidence interval = 1.18-2.28) nevi but not 2-mm nevi (odds ratio = 1.06; 95% confidence interval = 0.92-1.21) or 5-mm nevi (odds ratio = 1.26; 95% confidence interval = 0.94-1.70). Stratification by case status showed more pronounced positive associations among non-case family members, who were nearly three times (odds ratio = 2.91; 95% confidence interval = 1.75-4.82) as likely to exhibit nevus counts at or above the median in all three nevus categories simultaneously when harboring a pathogenic mutation (vs. not harboring one). Our results support the hypothesis that unidentified nevogenic genes are co-inherited with CDKN2A and may influence carcinogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jid.2017.07.829DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5701856PMC
December 2017

Brachioradial pruritus in a 47-year-old woman treated with pregabalin.

G Ital Dermatol Venereol 2016 Dec;151(6):727-728

Section of Dermatology, Department of Biomedical Science and Human Oncology, Policlinico di Bari, Bari, Italy.

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December 2016

Squamous cell carcinomas of the scalp induced by ionizing radiation for tinea capitis.

G Ital Dermatol Venereol 2016 Oct;151(5):574-6

Department of Dermatology, M. Bufalini Hospital, Cesena, Forlì-Cesena, Italy -

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October 2016

Low predictive value of sentinel lymph node biopsy in patients with thin melanoma.

Int J Dermatol 2017 Jan 6;56(1):e6-e7. Epub 2016 Aug 6.

Department of Public Health, "Maurizio Bufalini" Hospital, Cesena, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ijd.13380DOI Listing
January 2017

Cutaneous melanoma in octogenarians: a single-institution review.

G Ital Dermatol Venereol 2017 02 24;152(1):18-23. Epub 2016 Mar 24.

Department of Dermatology, "Infermi" Hospital, Rimini, Italy.

Background: To identify the prognostic factors and assess the outcome of a group of octogenarian patients who were diagnosed with cutaneous melanoma (CM) in the Department of Dermatology of the "M. Bufalini" Hospital, Cesena, Italy from 1996 to 2013.

Methods: From the 1136 consecutive patients in our database, we selected 82 patients (7.2%) diagnosed with CM at age 80 or older. Their major clinical and histopathologic parameters were extracted and matched with those of the residual 1054 younger patients.

Results: Comparing our 82 patients with the group of 1054 patients with CM diagnosed in the same period, but at a younger age, we found that: 1) there was no significant difference regarding the patient's gender; 2) CM diagnosed in octogenarians was more frequently located on the head and neck (24.4% vs. 12.8%), and lower extremities (24.4% vs. 14.4%) (P=0.0001); 3) early diagnosis of CM (T1) was less frequent in octogenarians (31.7% vs. 62.6%), intermedium thickness CM (T2) was nearly the same in the 2 groups (15.8% vs. 16.5%), while diagnosis in category T3/T4 (42.6% vs. 21.0%) were significantly greater in octogenarians (P=0.0001); 4) ulceration was detected more frequently in octogenarians (18.3% vs. 10.7%) but the difference was not statistically significant. After a follow-up period of a median 58 months, 52 octogenarians (63.4%) were still alive and free from disease. Thirty of them (36.6%) had died, 14 (17.1%) of which because of melanoma. On the contrary, among the younger patients, 840 (81.6%) were alive, 132 (12.5%) died for melanoma and 75 (7.1%) for other causes.

Conclusions: In our octogenarians, death for CM was not related to the old age but to the delayed diagnosis of cancer. Our results suggest that continuing educational programs for early diagnosis of CM should specifically include this segment of population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0392-0488.16.05133-6DOI Listing
February 2017

Blood DNA methylation, nevi number, and the risk of melanoma.

Melanoma Res 2014 Oct;24(5):480-7

aCenter of Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology, Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, Università degli Studi di Milano bEpidemiology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan cDermatology Unit, Bufalini Hospital, Cesena, Italy dDivision of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Germline mutations determining increased cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) risk have been identified in familial and sporadic CMM cases, but they account only for a small proportion of CMM cases. Recent evidence suggests that germline epimutations (e.g. DNA methylation alterations), which can be inherited similarly to genomic mutations and can be detected in normal body cells (including blood), might increase susceptibility to cancer. The aim of the study was to identify germline epimutations of genes that were found to be mutated in familial CMM (p16, p14, CDK4, MC1R, hTERT), immune and inflammatory genes (ICAM-1, TNFα), DNA mismatch repair gene (MLH1), and repetitive elements (ALU, LINE-1, HERV-w). We measured DNA methylation using bisulfite pyrosequencing in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 167 CMM cases and 164 sex-matched and age-matched controls. We used multivariable logistic regression models to evaluate the association between methylation levels and CMM status or presence of dysplastic nevi. We found an association between the risk of CMM and peripheral blood mononuclear cell methylation levels of TNFα [odds ratio (OR)=1.11, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.03-1.18], CDK4 (OR=0.76, 95% CI=0.64-0.91), and MLH1 (OR=1.12, 95% CI=1.02-1.22). In control participants, the risk of developing dysplastic nevi was associated with methylation levels of TNFα (OR=0.81, 95% CI=0.69-0.95), hTERT (OR=0.90, 95% CI=0.82-0.99), and ALU (OR=1.56, 95% CI=1.02-2.39). Epimutations in CMM susceptibility genes and in genes involved in response to oxidative damage are associated with the risk of developing CMM or dysplastic nevi. Further studies measuring methylation levels of these genes in prospectively collected samples are warranted to further elucidate their role in the development and progression of CMM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CMR.0000000000000112DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6857929PMC
October 2014

Rare missense variants in POT1 predispose to familial cutaneous malignant melanoma.

Nat Genet 2014 May 30;46(5):482-6. Epub 2014 Mar 30.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, US National Institutes of Health, US Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Although CDKN2A is the most frequent high-risk melanoma susceptibility gene, the underlying genetic factors for most melanoma-prone families remain unknown. Using whole-exome sequencing, we identified a rare variant that arose as a founder mutation in the telomere shelterin gene POT1 (chromosome 7, g.124493086C>T; p.Ser270Asn) in five unrelated melanoma-prone families from Romagna, Italy. Carriers of this variant had increased telomere lengths and numbers of fragile telomeres, suggesting that this variant perturbs telomere maintenance. Two additional rare POT1 variants were identified in all cases sequenced in two separate Italian families, one variant per family, yielding a frequency for POT1 variants comparable to that for CDKN2A mutations in this population. These variants were not found in public databases or in 2,038 genotyped Italian controls. We also identified two rare recurrent POT1 variants in US and French familial melanoma cases. Our findings suggest that POT1 is a major susceptibility gene for familial melanoma in several populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng.2941DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4056593PMC
May 2014

Association of genetic variants in CDK6 and XRCC1 with the risk of dysplastic nevi in melanoma-prone families.

J Invest Dermatol 2014 Feb 26;134(2):481-487. Epub 2013 Jul 26.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, NCI/NIH, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. Electronic address:

Dysplastic nevi (DN) is a strong risk factor for cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM), and it frequently occurs in melanoma-prone families. To identify genetic variants for DN, we genotyped 677 tagSNPs in 38 melanoma candidate genes that are involved in pigmentation, DNA repair, cell cycle control, and melanocyte proliferation pathways in a total of 504 individuals (310 with DN, 194 without DN) from 53 melanoma-prone families (23 CDKN2A mutation positive and 30 negative). Conditional logistic regression, conditioning on families, was used to estimate the association between DN and each single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) separately, adjusted for age, sex, CMM, and CDKN2A status. P-values for SNPs in the same gene were combined to yield gene-specific P-values. Two genes, CDK6 (cyclin-dependent kinase 6) and XRCC1, were significantly associated with DN after Bonferroni correction for multiple testing (P=0.0001 and 0.00025, respectively), whereas neither gene was significantly associated with CMM. Associations for CDK6 SNPs were stronger in CDKN2A mutation-positive families (rs2079147, Pinteraction=0.0033), whereas XRCC1 SNPs had similar effects in mutation-positive and -negative families. The association for one of the associated SNPs in XRCC1 (rs25487) was replicated in two independent data sets (random-effect meta-analysis: P<0.0001). Our findings suggest that some genetic variants may contribute to DN risk independently of their association with CMM in melanoma-prone families.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/jid.2013.316DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3873368PMC
February 2014

A variant in FTO shows association with melanoma risk not due to BMI.

Nat Genet 2013 Apr 3;45(4):428-32, 432e1. Epub 2013 Mar 3.

Section of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine, Leeds Cancer Research UK Centre, St. James's University Hospital, Leeds, UK.

We report the results of an association study of melanoma that is based on the genome-wide imputation of the genotypes of 1,353 cases and 3,566 controls of European origin conducted by the GenoMEL consortium. This revealed an association between several SNPs in intron 8 of the FTO gene, including rs16953002, which replicated using 12,313 cases and 55,667 controls of European ancestry from Europe, the USA and Australia (combined P = 3.6 × 10(-12), per-allele odds ratio for allele A = 1.16). In addition to identifying a new melanoma-susceptibility locus, this is to our knowledge the first study to identify and replicate an association with SNPs in FTO not related to body mass index (BMI). These SNPs are not in intron 1 (the BMI-related region) and exhibit no association with BMI. This suggests FTO's function may be broader than the existing paradigm that FTO variants influence multiple traits only through their associations with BMI and obesity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng.2571DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3640814PMC
April 2013

On the interplay of telomeres, nevi and the risk of melanoma.

PLoS One 2012 27;7(12):e52466. Epub 2012 Dec 27.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America.

The relationship between telomeres, nevi and melanoma is complex. Shorter telomeres have been found to be associated with many cancers and with number of nevi, a known risk factor for melanoma. However, shorter telomeres have also been found to decrease melanoma risk. We performed a systematic analysis of telomere-related genes and tagSNPs within these genes, in relation to the risk of melanoma, dysplastic nevi, and nevus count combining data from four studies conducted in Italy. In addition, we examined whether telomere length measured in peripheral blood leukocytes is related to the risk of melanoma, dysplastic nevi, number of nevi, or telomere-related SNPs. A total of 796 cases and 770 controls were genotyped for 517 SNPs in 39 telomere-related genes genotyped with a custom-made array. Replication of the top SNPs was conducted in two American populations consisting of 488 subjects from 53 melanoma-prone families and 1,086 cases and 1,024 controls from a case-control study. We estimated odds ratios for associations with SNPs and combined SNP P-values to compute gene region-specific, functional group-specific, and overall P-value using an adaptive rank-truncated product algorithm. In the Mediterranean population, we found suggestive evidence that RECQL4, a gene involved in genome stability, RTEL1, a gene regulating telomere elongation, and TERF2, a gene implicated in the protection of telomeres, were associated with melanoma, the presence of dysplastic nevi and number of nevi, respectively. However, these associations were not found in the American samples, suggesting variable melanoma susceptibility for these genes across populations or chance findings in our discovery sample. Larger studies across different populations are necessary to clarify these associations.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0052466PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3531488PMC
July 2013

Duplication of CXC chemokine genes on chromosome 4q13 in a melanoma-prone family.

Pigment Cell Melanoma Res 2012 Mar 23;25(2):243-7. Epub 2012 Jan 23.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, DHHS, MD, USA.

Copy number variations (CNVs) have been shown to contribute substantially to disease susceptibility in several inherited diseases including cancer. We conducted a genome-wide search for CNVs in blood-derived DNA from 79 individuals (62 melanoma patients and 17 spouse controls) of 30 high-risk melanoma-prone families without known segregating mutations using genome-wide comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) tiling arrays. We identified a duplicated region on chromosome 4q13 in germline DNA of all melanoma patients in a melanoma-prone family with three affected siblings. We confirmed the duplication using quantitative PCR and a custom-made CGH array design spanning the 4q13 region. The duplicated region contains 10 genes, most of which encode CXC chemokines. Among them, CXCL1 (melanoma growth-stimulating activity α) and IL8 (interleukin 8) have been shown to stimulate melanoma growth in vitro and in vivo. Our data suggest that the alteration of CXC chemokine genes may confer susceptibility to melanoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-148X.2012.00969.xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3288577PMC
March 2012

Genome-wide association study identifies three new melanoma susceptibility loci.

Nat Genet 2011 Oct 9;43(11):1108-13. Epub 2011 Oct 9.

Section of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine, Leeds Cancer Research UK Centre, St James’s University Hospital, Leeds, UK.

We report a genome-wide association study for melanoma that was conducted by the GenoMEL Consortium. Our discovery phase included 2,981 individuals with melanoma and 1,982 study-specific control individuals of European ancestry, as well as an additional 6,426 control subjects from French or British populations, all of whom were genotyped for 317,000 or 610,000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Our analysis replicated previously known melanoma susceptibility loci. Seven new regions with at least one SNP with P < 10(-5) and further local imputed or genotyped support were selected for replication using two other genome-wide studies (from Australia and Texas, USA). Additional replication came from case-control series from the UK and The Netherlands. Variants at three of the seven loci replicated at P < 10(-3): an SNP in ATM (rs1801516, overall P = 3.4 × 10(-9)), an SNP in MX2 (rs45430, P = 2.9 × 10(-9)) and an SNP adjacent to CASP8 (rs13016963, P = 8.6 × 10(-10)). A fourth locus near CCND1 remains of potential interest, showing suggestive but inconclusive evidence of replication (rs1485993, overall P = 4.6 × 10(-7) under a fixed-effects model and P = 1.2 × 10(-3) under a random-effects model). These newly associated variants showed no association with nevus or pigmentation phenotypes in a large British case-control series.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng.959DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3251256PMC
October 2011

Genome-wide association study identifies three loci associated with melanoma risk.

Nat Genet 2009 Aug 5;41(8):920-5. Epub 2009 Jul 5.

Section of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine, Cancer Research UK Clinical Centre at Leeds, St James's University Hospital, Leeds, UK.

We report a genome-wide association study of melanoma conducted by the GenoMEL consortium based on 317K tagging SNPs for 1,650 selected cases and 4,336 controls, with replication in an additional two cohorts (1,149 selected cases and 964 controls from GenoMEL, and a population-based case-control study in Leeds of 1,163 cases and 903 controls). The genome-wide screen identified five loci with genotyped or imputed SNPs reaching P < 5 x 10(-7). Three of these loci were replicated: 16q24 encompassing MC1R (combined P = 2.54 x 10(-27) for rs258322), 11q14-q21 encompassing TYR (P = 2.41 x 10(-14) for rs1393350) and 9p21 adjacent to MTAP and flanking CDKN2A (P = 4.03 x 10(-7) for rs7023329). MC1R and TYR are associated with pigmentation, freckling and cutaneous sun sensitivity, well-recognized melanoma risk factors. Common variants within the 9p21 locus have not previously been associated with melanoma. Despite wide variation in allele frequency, these genetic variants show notable homogeneity of effect across populations of European ancestry living at different latitudes and show independent association to disease risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng.411DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2741419PMC
August 2009

Topical 1% cidofovir for the treatment of vulvar intraepidermal neoplasia (VIN1) developed on lichen sclerosus.

Authors:
Donato Calista

Int J Dermatol 2009 May;48(5):535-6

Department of Dermatology, M. Bufalini Hospital, Cesena, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-4632.2009.04003.xDOI Listing
May 2009

Photodynamic therapy for the treatment of a giant superficial basal cell carcinoma.

Authors:
Donato Calista

Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed 2009 Feb;25(1):53-4

Department of Dermatology, M. Bufalini Hospital, Cesena, Italy.

A 74-year-old man was referred to our department for the treatment of a 15 x 15 cm superficial basal cell carcinoma (BCC) on his lumbar region. As surgical excision was considered too destructive, photodynamic therapy (PDT) was proposed. Methyl 5-aminolevulinate (MAL) cream was applied under occlusion for 3 h before illumination with a light-emitting diode lamp with an emission peak of 632 nm, a fluence rate of 83.3 mW/cm, and a light dose of 37 J/cm. A second MAL-PDT session was repeated 1 week later. The neoplastic area healed in 30 days. No recurrence has occurred after a 40-month follow-up period, but clinical observation continues. Although surgery still remains the treatment of choice for giant BCC, for which the local invasiveness and metastatic potential are well known, we offered our patient the option of PDT because we believed that classical surgery could hardly provide the same satisfactory outcome. As far as we know, this is the first case of giant BCC treated with PDT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0781.2009.00397.xDOI Listing
February 2009

Topical imiquimod for the treatment of keratoacanthomas.

Eur J Dermatol 2008 Sep-Oct;18(5):590-1

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1684/ejd.2008.0476DOI Listing
December 2008

Cutaneous cryptococcosis of the penis.

Dermatol Online J 2008 Jul 15;14(7). Epub 2008 Jul 15.

Dermatology Unit, M Bufalini Hospital, Cesena, Italy.

Disseminated cryptococcosis is a well-known opportunistic infection in AIDS patients. We report an unusual patient who demonstrated an isolated plaque of cryptococcosis on the penis. Resolution of this plaque was obtained after treatment with fluconazole, but subsequent cutaneous dissemination occurred that was responsive to amphotericin B.
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July 2008

MC1R variants increase risk of melanomas harboring BRAF mutations.

J Invest Dermatol 2008 Oct 27;128(10):2485-90. Epub 2008 Mar 27.

Department of Dermatology, University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy.

Melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) variants have been associated with BRAF (v-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B1) mutations in non-CSD (chronic solar-damaged) melanomas in an Italian and an American population. We studied an independent Italian population of 330 subjects (165 melanoma patients and 165 controls) to verify and estimate the magnitude of this association and to explore possible effect modifiers. We sequenced MC1R in all subjects and exon 15 of BRAF in 92/165 melanoma patients. Patients with MC1R variants had a high risk of carrying BRAF mutations in melanomas (odds ratio (OR)=7.0, 95% confidence interval (CI)=2.1-23.8) that increased with the number of MC1R variants and variants associated with red hair color. Combining these subjects with the originally reported Italian population (513 subjects overall), MC1R variant carriers had a 5- to 15-fold increased risk of BRAF-mutant melanomas based on carrying one or two variants (P<0.0001, test for trend), and regardless of signs of chronic solar damage. In contrast, no association with BRAF-negative melanomas was found (OR=1.0, 95% CI=0.6-1.6). No characteristics of subjects or melanomas, including age, nevus count, pigmentation, and melanoma thickness or location on chronically or intermittently sun-exposed body sites, substantially modified this association, although results could be affected by the small numbers in some categories. This study confirms that the known MC1R-melanoma risk association is confined to subjects whose melanomas harbor BRAF mutations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/jid.2008.67DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2835495PMC
October 2008
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