NF1-mutated tumours represent a small subset (10-15%) of melanomas, not sufficiently analysed in large clinical cohorts. This study investigated the largest multicentre collection of NF1-mutated melanomas to date.
This study analysed a multicentre tumour tissue sample cohort from 266 patients with NF1-mutated melanoma. Targeted next-generation sequencing of the TERT promoter and 29 relevant melanoma genes was performed. Survival was compared with NF1 wild-type cohorts from the Tissue Registry in Melanoma project (n = 432).
Most NF1-mutated melanoma arose in the head-and-neck region of patients >60 years. NF1 alterations were frequently inactivating, primarily non-sense, less frequently truncating mutations. Non-inactivating NF1 mutations more frequently co-occurred with activating BRAF and RAS mutations. NF1-mutated tumours had higher numbers of gene mutations and UV signature C>T and CC>TT transitions than BRAF, RAS and triple wild-type melanomas. NF1-mutated acral and mucosal melanomas harboured a different mutation signature and were frequent in women (69% and 83%, respectively), differing from non-acral cutaneous NF1-mutated melanomas (men 73%, women 27%). Overall survival in stage IV disease was comparable for patients with NF1-mutated or wild-type melanoma. However, in patients receiving first-line immune checkpoint inhibitor treatment, better median overall survival (mOS) was observed for NF1-mutated than wild-type tumours (mOS = not reached vs mOS = 25.82, p = 0.0154, n = 80 and 432, respectively).
Cutaneous, acral and mucosal NF1-mutated melanomas vary in clinical and genetic characteristics and demonstrate a favourable outcome on immune checkpoint inhibition therapy.

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