Gene expression profiling, SLNB improved prediction of metastasis risk in patients with melanoma

A gene expression profile test improved identification of the metastasis risk in patients with melanoma who underwent sentinel lymph node biopsy, according to recently published study results.

“The outcomes for patients with cutaneous melanoma are highly variable and there are limitations to the conventional staging system for melanoma,” researcher Pedram Gerami, MD, told “For example, although the status of the sentinel lymph node biopsy [SLNB] is considered the strongest prognosticator, approximately two-thirds of cutaneous melanoma patients who ultimately die from their melanoma will have a negative sentinel lymph node biopsy result.”

Gerami and colleagues evaluated data from a multicenter cohort of 217 patients with melanoma who had undergone an SLNB procedure. The researchers assessed the expression of 31 genes from primary melanoma tumors by performing reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Clinical data were used to determine SLNB outcome. Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analyses were used to determine prognostic accuracy of the tests.

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