Characterization of Gene Fusions in Distinct Subtypes of Melanoma

July 20, 2017

This webinar describes the characterization of gene fusions across distinct subtypes of melanoma.

The majority of common sun exposure-related melanomas have high mutational burden and activating mutations in the BRAF kinase gene. In contrast, less common subtypes of melanoma not related to sun exposure (acral lentiginous and mucosal melanomas) have low mutation burden, generally lack BRAF mutations, and have increased frequency of genomic structural variants. Activating gene fusions in BRAF have been reported in melanomas lacking mutations in BRAF and other common melanoma driver genes, but gene fusions and their therapeutic potential have not been well studied across different subtypes of melanoma.

To characterize gene fusions, Kasey Couts and colleagues at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus performed targeted RNA sequencing of 65 melanoma patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models representing different melanoma subtypes (sun-exposed and non-sun-exposed) and genotypes (with or without common driver mutations). They identified several kinase gene fusions in melanomas lacking other driver mutations and tested the therapeutic potential in pre-clinical models using specific small molecule inhibitors.

During this webinar, Dr. Couts will describe the gene fusion targeted RNA sequencing screen and discuss the results, which include identification of an ALK fusion (EML4-ALK) occurring in a malignant melanoma. She also discusses the successful response to targeted inhibitors in melanomas with various kinase fusions. This webinar highlights the clinically significant finding of targetable gene fusions in both sun-exposed and non-sun-exposed subtypes of melanoma.

Click here to register.

Location: GenomeWeb Webinar
When: 20 July 2017 - 1:00PM

Kasey Couts, PhD

Research Instructor, Cutaneous Oncology Program, Div of Medical Oncology, Dept of Medicine, U of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

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Kasey Couts, PhD

Research Instructor, Cutaneous Oncology Program, Div of Medical Oncology, Dept of Medicine, U of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Dr. Kasey Couts received her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Colorado Boulder where she studied oncogenic signaling pathways in melanoma. Afterward, she continued her research in the melanoma field studying melanoma genomics in the Dermatology Department at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Dr. Couts transitioned to a junior faculty position in the Cutaneous Oncology Program within the same university and is currently studying the role of structural variants and gene fusions in melanomas. Dr. Kasey Couts has no financial ties to GenomeWeb and is a customer of NuGEN.

Luke Sherlin, PhD

Director, Product Management, NuGEN Technologies

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Luke Sherlin, PhD

Director, Product Management, NuGEN Technologies

Dr. Sherlin has been a member of NuGen since 2010, and currently acts as the Director of Product Management with responsibility to understanding customers needs and incorporating them into new products. Prior to joining NuGen, Luke was a Support and Technical Marketing manager at Phalanx Bio. He earned his PhD at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in Biological Chemistry and performed post-doctoral research at Northwestern University prior to working in industry. Dr. Sherlin has no financial ties to GenomeWeb and is an employee of NuGEN.