Arrate Sevilla , Celia Morales, Pilar A. Ezkurra, Javier Rasero, Verónica Velasco, Goikoane Cancho-Galan, na Sánchez-Diez, armele Mujika, Cristina Penas, Isabel Smith, Aintzane Asumendi, Jesús M. Cortés, Maria Dolores Boyano, and Santos Alonso. BRAF V600E mutational load as a prognosis biomarker in malignant melanoma. Plos One 15:e0230136, 2020 [pdf]
Analyzing the mutational load of driver mutations in melanoma could provide valuable information regarding its progression. We aimed at analyzing the heterogeneity of mutational load of BRAF V600E in biopsies of melanoma patients of different stages, and investigating its potential as a prognosis factor. Mutational load of BRAF V600E was analyzed by digital PCR in 78 biopsies of melanoma patients of different stages and 10 nevi. The BRAF V600E load was compared among biopsies of different stages. Results showed a great variability in the load of V600E (0%-81%). Interestingly, we observed a significant difference in the load of V600E between the early and late melanoma stages, in the sense of an inverse correlation between BRAF V600E mutational load and melanoma progression. In addition, a machine learning approach showed that the mutational load of BRAF V600E could be a good predictor of metastasis in stage II patients. Our results suggest that BRAF V600E is a promising biomarker of prognosis in stage II patients.