In most cases of cutaneous melanoma, ultraviolet (UV) radiation is recognized as a prominent risk factor. Less is known regarding the mechanisms of mutagenesis for melanoma arising in sun-protected sites, such as acral and mucosal melanoma. Acral and mucosal melanoma share many common features, including a late age of onset, a broad radial growth phase with prominent lentiginous growth, the presence of field cancerization cells, and, in most cases, lack of a precursor nevus. In addition to early chromosomal instability, many of the same genes are also involved in these two distinct melanoma subtypes. To better understand non-UV-mediated pathogenesis in melanoma, we conducted a joint literature review of clinical, histological, and molecular features in acral and mucosal melanoma. We also reviewed the current literature regarding aberrations in KIT, PDGFRA, TERT, and other commonly involved genes. By comparing common features of these two subtypes, we suggest potential mechanisms underlying acral and/or mucosal melanoma and offer direction for future investigations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology