About five per cent of melanomas in the eye are caused by exposure to sunlight, while the majority are not.

A new study by Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) Berghofer and Queensland Ocular Oncology Service (QOOS) has found. The QOOS consults weekly at Terrace Eye Centre and is made up of director, Associate Professor Bill Glasson with Drs Sunil Warrier and Lindsay McGrath.

The researchers sequenced the entire genomes of more than 100 patients with uveal melanoma and compared the data on DNA mutations with their health outcomes. The results were published last week in the journal Nature Communications.

“Understanding that uveal melanoma is made up of a number of mutational subclasses explains why patients respond so differently to treatments,” A/Prof Glasson said. “We found that tumours in the iris have more mutations, which means they are potentially more suitable for immunotherapy since a high number of mutations has been shown to be a marker of response to immunotherapy in the treatment of metastatic skin melanomas.”

Dr Kelly Brooks, a researcher at QIMR Berghofer and joint first author of the study, said the findings added further weight to current general sun protection advice. “This study confirms wearing sunglasses could help prevent up to five per cent of uveal melanoma cases,” she said.

The QOOS look forward to further collaboration with QIMR to find out more about these rare tumours. We are most grateful to our patients who allow parts of their tumour samples to be used for studies such as these, which allow our team, and research groups worldwide to better understand ocular melanoma.

Link to Courier Mail article: https://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/qld-researchers-unlock-some-of-the-mysteries-of-rare-eye-melanomas-paving-the-way-for-better-treatments/news-story/5a6dc8c0725e918f8353a851565baaaa?utm_content=SocialFlow&utm_source=CourierMail&utm_medium=Twitter&utm_campaign=EditorialSF