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Conjunctival Melanoma from an Epigenetic Perspective

Flick, Kaylea M. (2023) Conjunctival Melanoma from an Epigenetic Perspective. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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This article is an examination of literature regarding the epigenetic understanding of conjunctival melanoma (CjM), with a special emphasis on current knowledge gaps and future research directions. CjM is a rare but highly aggressive cancer that mainly affects the older population. With the expected increase in affected individuals in the Western world due to aging population, CjM has public health relevance. Local recurrences and distant metastases are common in CjM patients, but their prediction and management remain challenging. There is therefore an urgent need for new clinically useful biomarkers and more effective treatments to improve survival rates in these patients. Based on the articles collected for this review, there is an evident understanding of the pathology, genetic mechanisms, and environmental risks surrounding CjM. Like other cancers, CjM development and progression are believed to be driven by multiple genetic and epigenetic factors that contribute to tumorigenesis/spread, impaired immune response, and primary/acquired resistance to therapies. While the cancer field has recently witnessed a rapid increase in available epigenetic technologies and treatments, which have enabled the development of various epi-drugs with promising results in combinatorial therapies, the epigenetic understanding of CjM remains largely incomplete due to a small number of related studies published to date. These epigenetic studies primarily focused on DNA methylation, non-coding RNA (miRNA or circRNA) expression, or RNA modification/methylation. While they have revealed some potential biomarker or therapeutic candidates, these initial studies suffered from some limitations and their results warrant replication in larger studies/samples. Therefore, an in-depth understanding of CjM epigenetics, which is currently a critical unmet need, remains essential for improving the clinical management and outcomes of this deadly disease, and overall, the public health.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Flick, Kaylea M.kmf132@pitt.edukmf132
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDemirci, F. Yesimfyd1@pitt.edufyd1UNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberWeeks, Daniel E.weeks@pitt.eduweeksUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberConley, Yvetteyconley@pitt.eduyconleyUNSPECIFIED
Date: 4 January 2023
Date Type: Completion
Submission Date: 15 December 2022
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 50
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Human Genetics
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Current knowledge gaps and future research directions
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2023 18:36
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2023 22:02


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