Gene expression profiling for molecular staging of cutaneous melanoma in patients undergoing sentinel lymph node biopsy

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Molecular, Cell and Cancer Biology

Publication Date


Document Type



Cancer Biology | Dermatology | Molecular Genetics | Neoplasms | Skin and Connective Tissue Diseases


BACKGROUND: A gene expression profile (GEP) test able to accurately identify risk of metastasis for patients with cutaneous melanoma has been clinically validated.

OBJECTIVE: We aimed for assessment of the prognostic accuracy of GEP and sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) tests, independently and in combination, in a multicenter cohort of 217 patients.

METHODS: Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was performed to assess the expression of 31 genes from primary melanoma tumors, and SLNB outcome was determined from clinical data. Prognostic accuracy of each test was determined using Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analysis of disease-free, distant metastasis-free, and overall survivals.

RESULTS: GEP outcome was a more significant and better predictor of each end point in univariate and multivariate regression analysis, compared with SLNB (P < .0001 for all). In combination with SLNB, GEP improved prognostication. For patients with a GEP high-risk outcome and a negative SLNB result, Kaplan-Meier 5-year disease-free, distant metastasis-free, and overall survivals were 35%, 49%, and 54%, respectively.

LIMITATIONS: Within the SLNB-negative cohort of patients, overall risk of metastatic events was higher ( approximately 30%) than commonly found in the general population of patients with melanoma.

CONCLUSIONS: In this study cohort, GEP was an objective tool that accurately predicted metastatic risk in SLNB-eligible patients. Inc. All rights reserved.

DOI of Published Version



J Am Acad Dermatol. 2015 May;72(5):780-785.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2015.01.009. Epub 2015 Mar 3. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID