Although ultraviolet (UV) radiation damage and clock-like mutations associated with cell division contribute to melanoma risk, sex, and age may represent the final mutational composition of skin cancer, according to study research published in the British Journal of Dermatology.

The study relied on somatic mutation calls from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Mutation Annotation Format of the whole-exome sequences of the Skin Cutaneous Melanoma (SKCM) cohort. Samples were classified by their mutations in BRAF with V600 mutations, NRAS, or NF1. Mathematical modeling was performed to explain age-related (clock-like) somatic mutations generated during cell division and how mutations caused by UV radiation accumulate in cancer genomes.