Rare Melanomas Overview

"Rare" Melanomas aren't actually so rare.

The term "rare melanomas" collectively refers to patients diagnosed with non-sun related forms of melanoma including mucosal, acral, and uveal melanomas. When combined, these types of melanoma make up approximately 10% of all melanoma cases. This means about 1 out of every 10 melanoma patients will have one of these "rare" subtypes. Uveal melanoma comprises about 5% of melanoma diagnoses, followed by acral melanoma at 3% and mucosal melanoma at 1%. So far, we've learned that rare melanomas have different driver mutations and rarely benefit from the BRAF/MEK inhibitor drugs which are effective in cutaneous melanoma. Additionally, rare melanomas don't respond as well to immune based treatments such as immunotherapies and TIL therapy. We are making progress in understanding the unique biology underlying each type of melanoma and these discoveries are starting to be translated into the clinic. However, we are far from having widely effective treatments and still have little insight into the risk factors which lead to their initial development. Below are links to further information for each form of "rare" melanoma, including how patients can get involved and contribute to research.

Center for Rare Melanomas

CU Anschutz

Anschutz Cancer Pavilion

1665 North Aurora Court

3rd Floor

Aurora, CO 80045

Clinic: 720-848-0505 Laboratory: 303-724-1473

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