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Detection of c-myc amplification in uveal melanoma by fluorescent in situ hybridization.
Dipartimento Ricerca BioMedica, Section for Molecular Medicine and Gene Therapy, University Campus Bio Medico, Rome, Italy.
Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 2001;42(8):1679-84.
PURPOSE: Genetic abnormalities of chromosomal arm 8q have been reported by many studies in uveal melanoma. To better understand the role of 8q abnormalities in uveal melanoma development, copy number anomalies of the c-myc oncogene (located on 8q24.1) have been investigated. METHODS: Forty-three uveal melanomas were analyzed by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) with probes for c-myc and the chromosome 8 centromere. Results of the FISH analysis were compared with genetic changes previously detected by microsatellite analysis on chromosomes 3 and 6p. RESULTS: Thirty uveal melanomas (70%) had extra copies of c-myc, 2 tumors (5%) had loss of c-myc, and 11 tumors (25%) had no abnormalities in c-myc copy number. Of those with extra copies of c-myc, 13 tumors (43%) had amplification of the c-myc gene, 14 tumors (47%) had an intermediate relative increase in the c-myc copy number, and 3 tumors (10%) had a simple gain of chromosome 8. An association between larger tumor size and c-myc amplification was found (P < 0.01). Although extra copies of c-myc were seen in tumors with retention of chromosome 3, remarkably only tumors with monosomy 3 showed amplification of c-myc (P = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: The specific amplification of the c-myc oncogene detected in at least 30% of primary uveal melanomas cannot be explained by the simple 8q abnormalities observed in cytogenetic studies. The striking association between c-myc amplification and monosomy 3 suggests a unique pathway of genetic progression in a subset of uveal melanomas.
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