The genetics of malignant melanoma: lessons from mouse and man

Nat Rev Cancer. 2003 Aug;3(8):559-70. doi: 10.1038/nrc1145.


Therapeutic resistance and proclivity for metastasis are hallmarks of malignant melanoma. Genetic, epidemiological and genomic investigations are uncovering the spectrum of stereotypical mutations that are associated with melanoma and how these mutations relate to risk factors such as ultraviolet exposure. The ability to validate the pathogenetic relevance of these mutations in the mouse, coupled with advances in rational drug design, has generated optimism for the development of effective prevention programmes, diagnostic measures and targeted therapeutics in the near future.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Environment
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / etiology
  • Melanoma / genetics*
  • Melanoma / therapy
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Receptors, Corticotropin / genetics
  • Receptors, Melanocortin
  • Signal Transduction


  • Receptors, Corticotropin
  • Receptors, Melanocortin