Uveal melanoma: discovering new therapeutic targets

Given that few therapies are available for treating metastases, efforts are focused on developing new treatments.

“As we get to know the disease better, new therapeutic targets can be identified,” claims Prof Simon Saule, director of a research unit. Along with his team, this researcher highlighted the potential for predicting the risk of metastasis associated with kinase (PTP4A3/PRL3): the more it is expressed, the higher the migratory capacity of the uveal melanoma cells (7). Medications targeting kinase already exist, which makes them interesting therapeutic targets.

More recently, Sergio Roman-Roman’s team at the translational research department discovered another way to block uveal melanoma. The mTOR signaling pathway is activated abnormally in most of the uveal melanoma cell lines available to them (7). An mTOR inhibitor – everolimus – is already used to treat some types of breast and kidney cancer. This molecule slows down the progression of the tumor in animal models of uveal melanoma. “Everolimus is therefore another therapeutic avenue to be explored for treating uveal melanoma, as well as other targeted therapies currently being tested in the pre-clinical investigation laboratory,” concludes the head of the translational research department.