• Ocular Pathology/Oncology

    Review of: Liquid biopsy proteomics of uveal melanoma reveals biomarkers associated with metastatic risk

    Velez G, Nguyen H, Chemudupati T, et al. Molecular Cancer, February 2021

    In this study, investigators use proteomics to identify potential biomarkers for uveal melanoma and candidate targets for drug repositioning.

    Study design

    Researchers conducted proteomic analyses of vitreous samples from the eyes of 8 patients undergoing primary treatment for uveal melanoma with radiation or enucleation. They identified differentially expressed proteins and compared them with molecular prognostic testing of tumor cells. A 20-protein dataset was prospectively validated in both vitreous and plasma using an independent cohort.

    Outcomes

    Targeted proteomics revealed that differential protein expression correlated with metastatic risk as defined by PRAME status and gene expression profile class. In particular, the proteins involved in the STAT3 pathway were highly expressed in the vitreous of eyes with high-risk tumors. The authors identified several potential biomarkers for uveal melanoma in the vitreous (HGF, HGFR and SCFR) and plasma (ENPP-2 and ARGI1) that could be targetable pathways.

    Limitations

    Since this study analyzed a limited number of samples, additional studies are necessary to validate these findings.

    Clinical significance

    Based on these results, the authors suggest vitreous biopsies can potentially improve diagnostic information without disrupting the tumor. The proteomic profiles may help understand the mechanisms behind tumor proliferation and help guide adjuvant therapy and metastasis risk surveillance. This information could assist in designing future clinical trials for uveal melanoma, which is important given the poor survival prognosis and limited treatment options currently available.