Available Technology

Use of MMP-8 as a Prognostic Marker for Melanoma

Cutaneous malignant melanoma is the most common fatal skin cancer, and the incidence of this disease increases each year. The average survival time for patients diagnosed with malignant melanoma is less than ten months. Consequently, it is important to identify and understand genetic alterations leading to malignant melanoma so that new treatments strategies can be developed. Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs) have been associated with increased metastasis and several small molecule inhibitors have been developed as potential anticancer agents. Unfortunately, these inhibitors have been largely unsuccessful despite the research suggesting otherwise and it is clear that additional analyses are warranted. The NIH inventors have recently performed a mutational analysis of the MMP gene family in human cutaneous metastatic melanoma and have identified several novel somatic mutations, most notably mutations in MMP-8. This invention provides methods of identifying specific inhibitors to MMP-8 that could be used to treat patients with MMP-8 mutations. It also provides methods for predicting the prognosis of patients with MMP-8 mutations. Thus, this invention could not only help identify the roles of specific MMPs in melanoma, but also help further the development MMP inhibitors to treat melanoma patients.
Patent Abstract: 
Cutaneous malignant melanoma is the most common fatal skin cancer, and the incidence of this disease increases each year. The average survival time for patients diagnosed with malignant melanoma is less than ten months. Consequently, it is important to identify and understand genetic alterations leading to malignant melanoma so that new treatments strategies can be developed. Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs) have been associated with increased metastasis and several small molecule inhibitors have been developed as potential anticancer agents. Unfortunately, these inhibitors have been largely unsuccessful despite the research suggesting otherwise and it is clear that additional analyses are warranted. The NIH inventors have recently performed a mutational analysis of the MMP gene family in human cutaneous metastatic melanoma and have identified several novel somatic mutations, most notably mutations in MMP-8. This invention provides methods of identifying specific inhibitors to MMP-8 that could be used to treat patients with MMP-8 mutations. It also provides methods for predicting the prognosis of patients with MMP-8 mutations. Thus, this invention could not only help identify the roles of specific MMPs in melanoma, but also help further the development MMP inhibitors to treat melanoma patients.
applications 
Inventors: 
Yardena Samuels
Patent Number: 
61/198,384
Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
E-273-2008/0
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