CXC chemokine receptor 4 is expressed in uveal malignant melanoma and correlates with the epithelioid-mixed cell type

Stefania Scala, Caterina Ieranò, Alessandro Ottaiano, Renato Franco, Anna La Mura, Giuseppina Liguori, Massimo Mascolo, Stefania Staibano, Paolo A. Ascierto, Gerardo Botti, Gaetano De Rosa, Giuseppe Castello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: Although relatively rare, uveal melanoma is the most common ocular tumor of adults. Up to half of uveal melanoma patients die of metastatic disease. CXCR4, a chemokine receptor, is a prognostic factor in cutaneous melanoma involved in angiogenesis and metastasis formation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression of CXCR4 in uveal melanoma. Methods: CXCR4 was detected by immunohistochemistry in 44 samples of uveal melanoma. Staining was categorized into three semiquantitative classes based on the rate of stained (positive) tumor cells: absence of staining, 50% (++). Correlations between CXCR4 expression, data on patient and tumor features were studied by contingency tables and the χ2 test. Time-to-event curves were studied using the Kaplan-Meier method. Univariate analysis was performed using the log-rank test. Ninety-five percent confidence intervals (95% CI) of hazard ratios were also reported. Results: Staining for CXCR4 protein was absent in 18 tumors (40.9%), present in 50% of cells in 7 (15.9%) tumors. CXCR4 expression correlated to the epithelioid-mixed cell type (P = 0.030). No statistically significant relation emerged between CXCR4 expression, largest tumor diameter (LTD) and extracellular matrix patterns as evaluated through histological patterns stained with periodic acid-Schiff (PAS). Events occurred in 2 out of 18 patients (11.1%) with negative tumors (2 deaths), in 3 out of 19 patients (15.8%) with 50% of positive tumor cells (1 occurrence of metastases). The cell type (P = 0.0457) but not CXCR4 showed prognostic value at univariate analysis. Conclusion: This study shows that CXCR4 is commonly expressed in uveal melanoma and correlates with cell type a well-established prognostic factor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1589-1595
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Immunology, Immunotherapy
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007


  • CXCR4
  • Prognostic factor
  • Uveal melanoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Immunology
  • Oncology

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