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Book and Software Review
December 2004

Uveal Melanoma: A Model for Exploring Fundamental Cancer Biology

Arch Ophthalmol. 2004;122(12):1890. doi:10.1001/archopht.122.12.1890-a

This book is a compendium of 20 chapters written by an internationalcollection of authors who are currently involved with uveal melanoma research.The 20 chapters cover topics including prognostic indicators, genetic predisposition,oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, molecular characterization of cell lines,angiogenesis, extracellular matrix patterns, immunology, HLA antigen expression,adhesion molecules, chemotherapy, and others. Similar topics are grouped together,including oncogenetic aspects, vascular patterns, and immunologic characteristics.The chapters represent an array of writing styles, content, and quality. Chapter4, describing oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, and chapter 18, coveringHLA antigen expression in uveal melanoma, are both excellent. Chapter 3 providesa nice overview of our current understanding of genetic predisposition touveal melanoma. Chapter 6 summarizes current understanding of the lack ofthe role of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2A (CDKN2A)(p16) inuveal melanoma. Chapter 7 relates the likely early roles of changes in chromosomes3 and 6 and later roles of changes in chromosomes 1, 8, and 21 in the progressionof uveal melanoma. Chapter 8 is a unique, stand-alone study that characterizes10 uveal melanoma cell lines using comparative genomic hybridization and spectralkaryotyping. This provides a useful database for uveal melanoma research.Chapter 10 provides a review of what is known about angiogenesis and uvealmelanoma. Chapters 11 through 15 provide points and alternative interpretationsof vasculogenic mimicry, mosaic vessels, extravascular matrix, and fluid-conductingmeshwork with regard to prognosis and imaging in vivo. Chapters 16 through18 discuss the immunology of uveal melanoma, including the roles of adaptiveand innate immunity, HLA antigen expression, and immune privilege. Chapter19 describes the role of adhesion molecules and uveal melanoma. Chapter 20summarizes current chemotherapeutic regimens for metastatic uveal melanoma.Chapter 9 describes mouse bone as an in vitro model of angiogenesis. Thischapter is an outlier in an otherwise concise, well-conceived snapshot ofwhat is known to date regarding uveal melanoma research. There are scatteredareas with incomplete coverage, including iris melanoma. Iris melanomas arewritten off as less aggressive than ciliary body and choroidal melanomas becauseof location and relatively benign cellular composition. One chapter statesthat the iris might absorb UV light and protect intraocular tissues. Thesetopics raise questions such as if the iris absorbs most of the UV light, whyaren’t there more (or more aggressive) iris melanomas? Problems withtumor recurrence and treating nevi with contemporary modalities, such as transpupillarythermotherapy, are not discussed. However, these are minor points in an overallfascinating book. As one who is performing uveal melanoma research, this isan extremely useful book that I will refer to often.

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