Subscribe to Newsletter
Diagnostics Oncology, Biochemistry and molecular biology, Genetics and epigenetics, Omics

Molecular Clues to Skin Cancer

In recent years, targeted therapy using BRAF inhibitors has substantially improved survival rates for patients with advanced melanoma. However, the majority of patients eventually become resistant to therapy and the result: treatment cessation. Now, researchers from California, USA, have shed light on a gene that could potentially provide a solution to the problem of BRAF inhibitor resistance, and play an important role in melanoma progression.

Multicolor FISH for BPTF locus (red), centromere of chromosome 17 (green) and DAPI (blue) as nuclear counterstaining, showing elevated BPTF copy number in patient progressing on BRAF-targeted therapy.

“Our broad-based goal is to understand factors that mediate melanoma progression, in the hope of developing markers that predict melanoma metastasis, or that may serve as targets for therapy of metastatic melanoma,” says co-author of the study (1), Mohammed Kashani-Sabet. “We found that the bromodomain PHD finger transcription factor (BPTF) gene plays an important role in melanoma progression, and that higher levels of BPTF expression in melanoma cells promoted resistance to BRAF-targeted therapies,” he explains.

Kashani and his team are hopeful their discovery will impact the diagnosis and treatment of melanoma, as BPTF may prove to be an important molecular marker for diagnosis and prognosis of cancer. Further, they have shown it to play a role in activation of the MAP kinase pathway, which is key for melanoma proliferation, and an important therapeutic target along with BRAF inhibition. A future strategy for preventing resistance to treatment could involve teaming BRAF inhibitors with a therapy that targets the resistance mechanisms, suggests Kashani.

“This discovery may give pathologists an additional tool to assess melanoma diagnosis and prognosis, and a marker to allow identification of patients in whom treatment with BRAF inhibitors can be continued”, says Kashani. “In the future, we aim to gain further understanding of the role of BPTF in tumor progression, and develop it as a target for cancer therapy,” he concludes.

Receive content, products, events as well as relevant industry updates from The Pathologist and its sponsors.
Stay up to date with our other newsletters and sponsors information, tailored specifically to the fields you are interested in

When you click “Subscribe” we will email you a link, which you must click to verify the email address above and activate your subscription. If you do not receive this email, please contact us at [email protected].
If you wish to unsubscribe, you can update your preferences at any point.

  1. AA Dar et al., “The role of BPTF in melanoma progression and in response to BRAF-targeted therapy”, J Natl Cancer Inst, 107, djv034 (2015). PMID: 25713167.
About the Author
Roisin McGuigan

I have an extensive academic background in the life sciences, having studied forensic biology and human medical genetics in my time at Strathclyde and Glasgow Universities. My research, data presentation and bioinformatics skills plus my ‘wet lab’ experience have been a superb grounding for my role as an Associate Editor at Texere Publishing. The job allows me to utilize my hard-learned academic skills and experience in my current position within an exciting and contemporary publishing company.

Related Application Notes
Tumor Genomic Profiling with SureSelect Cancer Tumor-Specific Assays

| Contributed by Agilent

Comprehensive Genomic Profiling with SureSelect Cancer CGP Assay

| Contributed by Agilent

Preventing Bias in scRNAseq Performed on Solid Tumors

| Contributed by Revvity

Related Product Profile
Diagnostics Genetics and epigenetics
QIAseq® Pan Cancer Multimodal cuts user interventions by 50%

| Contributed by QIAGEN

Most Popular
Register to The Pathologist

Register to access our FREE online portfolio, request the magazine in print and manage your preferences.

You will benefit from:
  • Unlimited access to ALL articles
  • News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
  • Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Pathologist magazine