Massachusetts General Hospital


Our institution

Massachusetts General Hospital
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114; USA

Our group

Massachusetts General Hospital Melanoma Genetics ProgramTitle and address of our group

Hensin Tsao, MD PhD, Director
Department of Dermatology
Bartlett 622
48 Blossom Street
Boston, MA 02114

The Group leader

Hensin Tsao, MD PhD
Department of Dermatology
Massachusetts General Hospital Melanoma Genetics Program
Bartlett 622
48 Blossom Street
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 617-726-9569
Fax: 617-724-2745

The Massachusetts General Hospital Pigmented Lesion Center (MGH PLC).
The MGH PLC is the oldest continuously-operational multidisciplinary melanoma group in the United States. Established in 1966 by Dr. Thomas B. Fitzpatrick (Dermatology), Dr. John Raker (Surgery), Dr. Wallace Clark and Dr. Martin C. Mihm (Pathology), the MGH PLC was created to advance understanding of a relatively rare cancer at that time- cutaneous melanoma. The MGH PLC is co-directed by Drs. Arthur J Sober and Hensin Tsao and remains the major center for melanoma patient care for the New England area and the site of active ongoing melanoma research. The MGH PLC shares a seat with many other international melanoma centers on the World Health Organization Melanoma Programme.

As a care center, the MGH PLC evaluates over 200-300 new melanoma patients per year and attends to over 3000 visits. Additional patients are also treated and managed in the medical and surgical oncology units as well as within surgery. As a teaching site, the MGH PLC trains dermatology residents from Harvard Medical School and other rotating residents and students, postgraduate dermatopathology fellows and fully-trained physicians from around the world interested in melanocytic tumors.

The Massachusetts General Hospital Melanoma Genetics Program

In 2000, the MGH Cancer Center initiated a core group of cancer genetics programs dedicated to the research and management of patients with hereditary malignancies. The Melanoma Genetics Program emerged from this initiative and is fully integrated into the MGH PLC. The Melanoma Genetics Program provides genetic counseling services for melanoma patients and coordinates genetics research utilizing the rich patient population. The Melanoma Genetics Program is comprised of Dr. Hensin Tsao, a molecular geneticist researcher and dermatologist, Ms. Lauren Carpiniello, a genetics counselor and Dr. Arthur J. Sober, a melanoma clinical researcher and dermatologist.

Related Links

MGH Center for Cancer Risk Analysis; Melanoma Genetics Program

MGH Melanoma and Pigmented Lesion Center; Melanoma Center

The names and e-mail addresses of group members with a description of their contribution


Hensin Tsao, MD, PhD
Molecular geneticist, dermatologist

Lauren Marie Carpiniello
Senior Genetic Counselor

Arthur J. Sober, MD


Tsao H, Sober AJ.
Ultraviolet radiation and malignant melanoma.
Clin Dermatol. 1998 Jan-Feb; 16(1): 67-73. Review.

Tsao H, Benoit E, Sober AJ, Thiele C, Haluska FG.
Novel mutations in the p16/CDKN2A binding region of the cyclin-dependent kinase-4 gene.
Cancer Res. 1998 Jan 1; 58(1): 109-13.

Tsao H, Rogers GS, Sober AJ.
An estimate of the annual direct cost of treating cutaneous melanoma
J Am Acad Dermatol. 1998 May; 38(5 Pt 1): 669-80.

Tsao H, Zhang X, Benoit E, Haluska FG.
Identification of PTEN/MMAC1 alterations in uncultured melanomas and melanoma cell lines.
Oncogene. 1998 Jul 2; 16(26): 3397-402.

Tsao H, Zhang X, Majewski P, Haluska FG.
Mutational and expression analysis of the p73 gene in melanoma cell lines.
Cancer Res 1999; 59: 172-174.

Tsao H, Zhang X, Fowlkes K, Haluska FG.
Relative reciprocity of NRAS and PTEN/MMAC1 alterations in cutaneous melanoma cell lines.
Cancer Res. 2000 Apr 1; 60(7): 1800-4.

Tsao H, Zhang X, Kwitkiwski K, Finkelstein DM, Sober AJ, Haluska FG.
Low prevalence of germline CDKN2A and CDK4 mutations in patients with early onset melanoma.
Arch Dermatol. 2000 Sep; 136(9): 1118-22.

Tsao H. CME
Article: Update on familial cancer syndromes and the skin.
J Am Acad Dermatol 2000; 42: 939-969.

Tsao H, Nadiminti U, Sober AJ, Bigby M.
A meta-analysis of reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for tyrosinase mRNA as a marker for circulating tumor cells in cutaneous melanoma.
Arch Dermatol, 2001; 137:325-330.

Goggins W, Finkelstein D, Tsao H.
Evidence for an association between cutaneous melanoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Cancer, 2001; 91:874-80.

Niendorf KB, Shannon KM. The role of genetic testing and effect on patient care. Arch Dermatol. 2001 Nov;137(11):1515-9. 11. Sober AJ, Chuang TY, Duvic M, Farmer ER, Grichnik JM, Halpern AC, Ho V, Holloway V, Hood AF, Johnson TM, Lowery BJ;
Guidelines/Outcomes Committee. Guidelines of care for primary cutaneous melanoma.
J Am Acad Dermatol. 2001 Oct;45(4):579-86.

Tsao H.
Genetics of non-melanoma skin cancer.
Arch Dermatol; 2001; 137: 1486-1492

Tsao H, Kwitkiwski K, Sober AJ.
A single-institution case series of patients with cutaneous melanoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
J Am Acad Dermatol; 2002; 46:55-61

Tsao H, Millman P, Linette GP, Hodi FS, Sober AJ, Goldberg MA, Haluska FG.
Hypopigmentation associated with an adenovirus-mediated gp100/MART-1-transduced dendritic cell vaccine for metastatic melanoma.
Arch Dermatol. 2002;138:799-802.

Goggins WB, Tsao H.
A population-based analysis of risk factors for a second primary cutaneous melanoma among melanoma survivors.
Cancer 2003;97:639-43

Tsao H, Bevona C, Goggins W, Quinn T.
The transformation rate of moles (melanocytic nevi) into cutaneous melanoma.
Arch Dermatol 2003;139:282-8.

Tsao H, Mihm MC, Sheehan C.
PTEN expression in normal skin, acquired melanocytic nevi and cutaneous melanoma.
J Am Acad Dermatol 2003; 49(5):865-72

Bevona C, Goggins W, Quinn T, Fullerton J, Tsao H.
Cutaneous melanomas associated with nevi.
Arch Dermatol 2003;139:1620-4

[21]. Bevona C, Sober AJ, Tsao H Chapter 15.
Childhood melanoma. In: Balch C, Houghton AN, Sober AJ, Soong SJ, eds. Cutaneous Melanoma 6th Edition.
St Louis: Quality Medical Publishing, Inc, 2003: 309-318

Tsao H, Sober AJ. Chapter 91.
Atypical Melanocytic Nevi. In: Fitzpatrick TB, et al, eds. Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology in General Medicine, 6th Edition.
New York, NY: McGraw Hill, Inc., 2003: 906-916

Tsao H, Feldman M, Fullerton JE, Sober AJ, Rosenthal D, Goggins W.
Early detection of asymptomatic pulmonary melanoma metastases by routine chest radiographs is not associated with improved survival.
Arch Dermatol 2004;140:67-70.

Tsao H, Goel V, Wu H, Yang G, Haluska FG.
Genetic interaction between NRAS and BRAF mutations and PTEN/MMAC1 inactivation in melanoma.
J Invest Dermatol. 2004 Feb; 122(2): 337-41.

Goggins W, Gao W, Tsao H.
Association between female breast cancer and cutaneous melanoma.
Int J Cancer. 2004 Sep 20; 111(5): 792-4.

Yang G, Niendorf KB, Tsao H.
A novel methionine-53-valine mutation of p16 in a hereditary melanoma kindred.
J Invest Dermatol. 2004 Sep; 123(3): 574-5.

Tsao H, Atkins MB, Sober AJ.
Management of cutaneous melanoma.
N Engl J Med. 2004 Sep 2; 351(10): 998-1012. Review. Erratum in: N Engl J Med. 2004 Dec 2; 351(23): 2461.

Tsai KY, Tsao H.
The genetics of skin cancer.
Am J Med Genet C Semin Med Genet. 2004 Nov 15; 131C(1): 82-92. Review.

Tsao H, Niendorf K.
Genetic testing in hereditary melanoma.
J Am Acad Dermatol. 2004 Nov; 51(5): 803-8. Review.

Niendorf KB, Goggins W, Yang G, Tsai KY, Shennan M, Bell DW, Sober AJ, Hogg D, Tsao H.
MELPREDICT: a logistic regression model to estimate CDKN2A carrier probability.
J Med Genet. 2006 Jun; 43(6): 501-6. Epub 2005 Sep 16.

Yang G, Rajadurai A, Tsao H.
Recurrent patterns of dual RB and p53 pathway inactivation in melanoma.
J Invest Dermatol. 2005 Dec;125(6):1242-51.

Niendorf KB, Tsao H.
Cutaneous melanoma: family screening and genetic testing.
Dermatol Ther. 2006 Jan-Feb; 19(1): 1-8. Review.

Haluska FG, Tsao H, Wu H, Haluska FS, Lazar A, Goel V.
Genetic alterations in signaling pathways in melanoma.
Clin Cancer Res. 2006 Apr 1; 12(7 Pt 2): 2301s-2307s. Review.

Yang G, Zhang G, Pittelkow MR, Ramoni M, Tsao H.
Expression profiling of UVB response in melanocytes identifies a set of p53-target genes.
J Invest Dermatol. 2006 Nov; 126(11): 2490-506. Epub 2006 Aug 3.

Goldstein AM, Chan M, Harland M, Hayward NK, Demenais F, Bishop DT, Azizi E, Bergman W, Bianchi-Scarra G, Bruno W, Calista D, Albright LA, Chaudru V, Chompret A, Cuellar F, Elder DE, Ghiorzo P, Gillanders EM, Gruis NA, Hansson J, Hogg D, Holland EA, Kanetsky PA, Kefford RF, Landi MT, Lang J, Leachman SA, MacKie RM, Magnusson V, Mann GJ, Bishop JN, Palmer JM, Puig S, Puig-Butille JA, Stark M, Tsao H, Tucker MA, Whitaker L, Yakobson E; Lund Melanoma Study Group; Melanoma Genetics Consortium (GenoMEL).
Features associated with germline CDKN2A mutations: a GenoMEL study of melanoma-prone families from three continents.
J Med Genet. 2007 Feb; 44(2): 99-106. Epub 2006 Aug 11.

Goldstein AM, Chan M, Harland M, Gillanders EM, Hayward NK, Avril MF, Azizi E, Bianchi-Scarra G, Bishop DT, Bressac-de Paillerets B, Bruno W, Calista D, Cannon Albright LA, Demenais F, Elder DE, Ghiorzo P, Gruis NA, Hansson J, Hogg D, Holland EA, Kanetsky PA, Kefford RF, Landi MT, Lang J, Leachman SA, Mackie RM, Magnusson V, Mann GJ, Niendorf K, Newton Bishop J, Palmer JM, Puig S, Puig-Butille JA, de Snoo FA, Stark M, Tsao H, Tucker MA, Whitaker L, Yakobson E; Melanoma Genetics Consortium (GenoMEL).
High-risk melanoma susceptibility genes and pancreatic cancer, neural system tumors, and uveal melanoma across GenoMEL.
Cancer Res. 2006 Oct 15; 66(20): 9818-28.

Lang J, Hayward N, Goldgar D, Tsao H, Hogg D, Palmer J, Stark M, Tobias ES, MacKie R.
The M53I mutation in CDKN2A is a founder mutation that predominates in melanoma patients with Scottish ancestry.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2007 Mar; 46(3): 277-87.

Hocker T, Tsao H.
Ultraviolet radiation and melanoma: a systematic review and analysis of reported sequence variants.
Hum Mutat. 2007 Jun; 28(6): 578-88. Review.

Yang G, Curley D, Bosenberg MW, Tsao H.
Loss of xeroderma pigmentosum C (Xpc) enhances melanoma photocarcinogenesis in Ink4a-Arf-deficient mice.
Cancer Res. 2007 Jun 15; 67(12): 5649-57.

Singh M, Lin J, Hocker TL, Tsao H.
Genetics of melanoma tumorigenesis.
Br J Dermatol. 2008 Jan; 158(1): 15-21. Epub 2007 Nov 28. Review.

Zhang G, Njauw CN, Park JM, Naruse C, Asano M, Tsao H.
EphA2 is an essential mediator of UV radiation-induced apoptosis.
Cancer Res. 2008 Mar 15; 68(6): 1691-6.

Harland M, Goldstein AM, Kukalizch K, Taylor C, Hogg D, Puig S, Badenas C, Gruis N, Ter Huurne J, Bergman W, Hayward NK, Stark M, Tsao H, Tucker MA, Landi MT, Scarra GB, Ghiorzo P, Kanetsky PA, Elder D, Mann GJ, Holland EA, Bishop DT, Newton Bishop J; members of GenoMEL, the Melanoma Genetics Consortium.
A comparison of CDKN2A mutation detection within the Melanoma Genetics Consortium (GenoMEL).
Eur J Cancer. 2008 Jun; 44(9): 1269-1274. Epub 2008 Apr 3.

Lin J, Hocker TL, Singh M, Tsao H.
Genetics of melanoma predisposition.
Br J Dermatol. 2008 Jun 11.

Sun BK, Tsao H.
X-Chromosome Inactivation and Skin Disease.
J Invest Dermatol. 2008 May 29. [Epub ahead of print]