The molecular profile of metastatic melanoma in Australia

Megan Lyle, Lauren E. Haydu, Alexander M. Menzies, John F. Thompson, Robyn P. M. Saw, Andrew J. Spillane, Richard F. Kefford, Graham J. Mann, Wendy A. Cooper, Bing Yu, Richard A. Scolyer, Sandra A. O'Toole, Georgina V. Long*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Targeted therapy directed at driver oncogenic mutations offers an effective treatment option for select patients with metastatic melanoma. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of clinically significant somatic mutations, specifically BRAF, NRAS and KIT, in a large cohort of Australian patients with metastatic melanoma. We performed a cross-sectional cohort study of consecutive patients with American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) stage IIIc unresectable or stage IV melanoma managed at Melanoma Institute Australia, and affiliated sites, that underwent molecular testing between 22 June 2009 and 19 July 2013. Additionally, we examined the change in BRAF testing methodology and patient population over time, and how this influenced the prevalence of mutations. A total of 767 molecular tests were conducted for 733 patients. BRAF V600 mutation testing was performed for 713 patients (97.2%), with an overall mutation prevalence of 37.7% (269/713); 74.3% (200/269) were the V600E genotype and 22.3% (60/269) V600K. The BRAF mutation prevalence and proportion of BRAF V600E and V600K genotypes varied across the study period, as did testing methodology and the median age of the cohorts. Of 222 patients who underwent NRAS testing, 58 (26.1%) had a mutation identified. The overall prevalence of KIT mutations was 3.7% (11/296). In Australia the prevalence of BRAF mutations is lower than initially reported, although this remains the most common mutation identified in metastatic melanoma and an important therapeutic target. NRAS mutations are more prevalent than initially described; however, other mutations reported in melanoma, including KIT, are rare in an unselected population of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-193
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016


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