Depth of invasion and stage of the disease are well known prognostic indicators in cutaneous melanoma (CM). However, the role of other parameters, such as the variations in cytomorphology of melanocyte tumours, mitotic activity and angiogenesis is still open to question. The aim of this study was to analyse proliferation by mitotic activity index (MAI) and immunostaining of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), and the intensity of neovascularization (microvessel density; MVD) in CM clinical stage I in relation to epithelioid, spindle and nevoid cell type, histological type (superficial spreading melanoma and nodular melanoma), Clark's level and Breslow thickness. Finally, the role of all parameters in the prognosis of CM was evaluated. Statistical analysis demonstrated that cytological characteristics of CM correlate only with Clark's level, while histological types correlate with MAI, PCNA and MVD. MAI and PCNA also showed correlation between groups according to Clark's level and Breslow thickness. Finally, tumour cell PCNA was found to correlate with MVD. Survival of patients with CM correlated significantly with MAI. These results suggest that cytological variation, histological type, PCNA and MVD alone are not independent prognostic parameters, whereas MAI is a potentially important prognostic marker in CM.
ASJC Scopus subject areas