Host, environmental and genetic factors differently modulate cutaneous melanoma (CM) risk across populations. Currently, the main genetic risk determinants are germline mutations in the major known high-risk susceptibility genes, CDKN2A and CDK4, and variants of the low-risk gene MC1R, which is key in the pigmentation process. This case-control study aimed at investigating the influence of the main host and environmental risk factors and of MC1R variation on CM risk in 390 CDKN2A-negative and 49 CDKN2A-positive Italian individuals. Multivariate analysis showed that MC1R variation, number of nevi and childhood sunburns doubled CM risk in CDKN2A-negative individuals. In CDKN2A-positive individuals, family history of CM and presence of atypical nevi, rather than MC1R status, modified risk (20.75- and 2.83-fold, respectively). Occupational sun exposure increased CM risk (three to sixfold) in both CDKN2A-negative and CDKN2A-positive individuals, reflecting the occupational habits of the Ligurian population and the geographical position of Liguria.
© 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.