Mitosis is a prognostic factor for cutaneous melanoma (CM), but accurate mitosis detection in CM tissues is difficult. Therefore, the 8th Edition of the American Joint Committee on Cancer staging system has removed mitotic rate as a category criterion of the tumor T-category, based on the evidence that mitotic rate was not an independent prognostic factor for melanoma survival. Since single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been shown to be potential predictors for cutaneous melanoma-specific survival (CMSS), we investigated the potential prognostic value of SNPs in mitosis-related pathway genes in CMSS by analyzing their associations with outcomes of 850 CM patients from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in a discovery dataset and validated the findings in another dataset of 409 CM patients from the Harvard University Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study. In both datasets, we identified two SNPs (SDCCAG8 rs10803138 G>A and MAGI2 rs3807694 C>T) as independent prognostic factors for CMSS, with adjusted allelic hazards ratios of 1.49 (95% confidence interval=1.17-1.90, P=0.001) and 1.45 (1.13-1.86, P=0.003), respectively. Furthermore, their combined unfavorable alleles also predicted poor survival in both discovery and validation datasets in a dose-response manner (P =0.0006 and 0.0001, respectively). Additional functional analysis revealed that both SDCCAG8 rs10803138 A and MAGI2 rs3807694 T alleles were associated with elevated mRNA expression levels in normal tissues. Therefore, these findings suggest that SDCCAG8 rs10803138 G>A and MAGI2 rs3807694 C>T are independent prognostic biomarkers for CMSS, possibly by regulating the mRNA expression of the corresponding genes involved in mitosis.
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