Sinonasal mucosal melanomas are the most frequent mucosal melanomas and arise from melanocytes located in the nasal cavity and the paranasal sinuses. The melanoma types, cutaneous melanoma, uveal melanoma, and mucosal melanoma, differ in etiology, geographic distribution, and clinical behavior. Genetic alterations have been previously studied in cutaneous and uveal melanomas but, to the best of our knowledge, not in mucosal melanomas. Comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) was performed on 14 routinely processed sinonasal mucosal melanomas. Furthermore, ploidy analysis was performed on 11 tumors to provide complementary data on the DNA index. The CGH profiles of sinonasal mucosal melanomas show remarkably consistent alterations: chromosome arm 1q is gained in all tumors and gains of 6p and 8q are present in 93 and 57%, respectively. Comparison of CGH data with both the common variants of cutaneous melanoma and uveal melanoma revealed that sinonasal mucosal melanomas harbor a distinct pattern of chromosomal abnormalities. Ploidy analysis also showed that diploid tumors exhibit gains of 1q and alterations of chromosome 6 (3 of 3 cases tested), whereas clear-copy gains and high-copy gains were seen only in triploid and tetraploid tumors (6 of 8 cases tested). This indicates that alteration of chromosomes 1 and 6 may precede polyploidization and formation of clear-copy gains and high-copy gains.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.