Dr. Carvajal on Unique Prognostic Factors in Uveal Melanoma

Richard D. Carvajal, MD, discusses the prognostic factors of uveal melanoma that differentiate it from other subsets of melanoma.

Richard D. Carvajal, MD, director, Experimental Therapeutics, director, the Melanoma Service, Columbia University Medical Center, discusses the prognostic factors of uveal melanoma that differentiate it from other subsets of melanoma.

Uveal melanoma is biologically and clinically distinct from other melanoma subsets, Carvajal says. Regarding genomics, whereas the mutation burden of cutaneous melanoma is among the highest of all tumor types, uveal melanoma has 1 of the lowest mutation burdens, with low expression of biomarkers such as PD-L1, Carvajal says.

The clinical behavior of uveal melanoma is also different from other subsets because of its hepatotropic nature, a disease quality that is difficult to treat across tumor types, Carvajal notes. Since uveal melanoma is biologically aggressive, prone to metastasizing, and drawn to the immunosuppressive environment of the liver, many current therapies are suboptimal in the majority of patients, Carvajal concludes.

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