Impact of genetic ancestry on prognostic biomarkers in uveal melanoma

Daniel A. Rodriguez, Margaret I. Sanchez, Christina L. Decatur, Zelia M. Correa, Eden R. Martin, J. William Harbour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Uveal melanoma (UM) is the most common cancer of the eye and leads to metastatic death in up to half of patients. Genomic prognostic biomarkers play an important role in clinical management in UM. However, research has been conducted almost exclusively in patients of European descent, such that the association between genetic admixture and prognostic biomarkers is unknown. In this study, we compiled 1381 control genomes from West African, European, East Asian, and Native American individuals, assembled a bioinformatic pipeline for assessing global and local ancestry, and performed an initial pilot study of 141 UM patients from our international referral center that manages many admixed individuals. Global and local estimates were associated with genomic prognostic determinants. Expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) analysis was performed on variants found in segments. Globally, after correction for multiple testing, no prognostic variable was significantly enriched in a given ancestral group. However, there was a trend suggesting an increased proportion of European ancestry associated with expression of the PRAME oncogene (q = 0.06). Locally enriched European haplotypes were associated with the poor prognosis class 2 gene expression profile and with genes involved in immune regulation (q = 4.7 × 10−11). These findings reveal potential influences of genetic ancestry on prognostic variables, implicate immune genes in prognostic differences based on ancestry, and provide a basis for future studies of admixed patients with UM using rigorous genetic ancestry methodology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3208
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • Admixture
  • Ancestry
  • Biomarkers
  • Genetics
  • Uveal melanoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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