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High Density SNP Association Analysis of Melanoma: Case-Control and Outcomes Investigation

This research builds upon an extensive resource of melanoma cases and hospital based controls collected over several years at the U.T. M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. The goal of this research is to identify novel susceptibility and outcome-related genes for melanoma using a systematic genome-wide association-based approach. Our goal is to conduct high-density SNP association and outcome studies. This dbGaP study contains samples from 2000 European ancestry cases and 1000 European ancestry controls using the Illumina OMNI1-Quad SNP chip. As a part of an ongoing R01 project, we have epidemiological data together with candidate gene results for 1000 of the melanoma cases and the controls. With regard to the outcome aspect of our design, as part of our melanoma Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant, our MelCore database contains comprehensive, prospectively maintained clinical information from all melanoma patients included in the study cohort, including primary tumor histopathology and staging information, standard and investigational blood tumor markers, details of surgical and systemic therapies, and extensive follow-up information, including time to relapse or recurrence, pattern of recurrence and survival duration. Finally, we intend to collaborate with the GenoMEL collaboration so we can jointly evaluate each other's findings. The goal of our analysis will be to identify novel genetic factors predisposing the development of melanoma, as well as genetic factors controlling melanoma stage at presentation, recurrence and progression.

This study is part of the Gene Environment Association Studies initiative (GENEVA, funded by the trans-NIH Genes, Environment, and Health Initiative (GEI). The overarching goal is to identify novel genetic factors that contribute to melanoma through large-scale genome-wide association studies of 2000 European ancestry cases and 1000 European ancestry controls. Genotyping was performed at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Inherited Disease Research (CIDR). Data cleaning and harmonization were done at the GEI-funded GENEVA Coordinating Center at the University of Washington.