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Markers Can Predict Risk of Melanoma Recurrence

Study suggests they may identify patients who could benefit from adjuvant treatment

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Levels of five markers can identify patients at high risk of recurrent melanoma who could benefit from additional treatment, according to a study published online Nov. 2 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Bonnie E. Gould Rothberg, M.D., and colleagues from the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., evaluated the expression of 38 protein markers relevant to melanoma oncogenesis in 192 primary melanomas using an automated quantitative analysis method for immunofluorescence-based immunohistochemistry.

By developing a genetic algorithm, the researchers found that five markers could identify patients at high risk of recurrence. Patients below particular cutoff values for at least four of the markers were considered at low risk, while patients below these values for three or fewer markers were considered at high risk. After adjusting for various clinical and pathological factors, patients in the high-risk group had significantly lower survival (hazard ratio, 2.84), as did patients in a predicted high-risk group from an independent group of 246 primary melanomas (hazard ratio, 2.72).

"This multimarker prognostic assay, an independent determinant of melanoma survival, might be beneficial in improving the selection of stage II patients for adjuvant therapy," Rothberg and colleagues conclude.

Several authors reported financial relationships with HistoRx.

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