Moffitt Researchers Perform Comprehensive Analysis of Cellular and Molecular Characteristics of Acral Melanoma

Source: News Wise, March 2022

Newswise — TAMPA, Fla. — Acral melanoma is a rare subtype that represents roughly 3% of all melanoma cases. Unlike typical melanoma that occurs on sun-exposed skin, acral melanoma develops on the nonhair bearing skin of the soles, palm and nail beds. There is very little information known about the development of acral melanoma. But in a new article published in Clinical Cancer Research, researchers from Moffitt Cancer Center’s Donald A. Adam Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center of Excellence reveal key differences in the cellular and molecular composition of acral melanoma compared to melanoma. Their findings may lead to new potential therapeutic targets for this rare disease.

Acral melanoma is most common among people of Asian, Hispanic and African American heritage. Those who develop the disease are often diagnosed at a late, more advanced stage and therefore have poorer outcomes. Additionally, some of the common genetic alterations observed in melanoma are not seen in acral melanoma. Despite these differences, acral melanoma is treated with the same therapies used for melanoma and are often unsuccessful.