DOI: 10.1111/1346-8138.16925 ISSN:

Effects of temozolomide on tumor mutation burden and microsatellite instability in melanoma cells

Masahide Sawada, Tokimasa Hida, Takafumi Kamiya, Tomoyuki Minowa, Junji Kato, Masae Okura, Masashi Idogawa, Takashi Tokino, Hisashi Uhara
  • Dermatology
  • General Medicine


The efficacy of combination therapy with an immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) and cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agents has been investigated in cancer, including melanoma. Before ICIs were introduced, dacarbazine or temozolomide (TMZ) were used to treat melanoma. Several studies using glioma or colorectal cancer cells showed that TMZ can increase the tumor mutation burden (TMB) and induce mismatch repair (MMR) deficiency associated with microsatellite instability (MSI). These could increase immunoreactivity to an ICI, but this has not been evaluated in melanoma cells. We investigated the effects of TMZ on MSI status and TMB in melanoma cells. To evaluate the TMB, we performed whole‐exome sequencing using genomic DNA from the human melanoma cell lines Mel18, A375, WM266‐4, G361, and TXM18 before and after TMZ treatment. Polymerase chain reaction amplification of five mononucleotide repeat markers, BAT25, BAT26, NR21, NR24, and MONO27, was performed, and we analyzed changes in the MSI status. In all cell lines, the TMB was increased after TMZ treatment (the change amount of TMB with ≤ 5% variant allele frequency [VAF] was 18.0–38.3 mutations per megabase) even in the condition without obvious cytological damage. MSI after TMZ treatment was not observed in any cells. TMZ increased TMB but did not change MSI status in melanoma cells.

More from our Archive