The presence of interval sentinel lymph nodes in melanoma is documented in several studies, but controversies still exist about the management of these lymph nodes. In this study, an immunohistochemical evaluation of tumor cell proliferation and neo-angiogenesis has been performed with the aim of establishing a correlation between these two parameters between positive and negative interval sentinel lymph nodes. This retrospective study reviewed data of 23 patients diagnosed with melanoma. Bioptic specimens of interval sentinel lymph node were retrieved, and immunohistochemical reactions on tissue sections were performed using Ki67 as a marker of proliferation and CD31 as a blood vessel marker for the study of angiogenesis. The entire stained tissue sections for each case were digitized using Aperio Scanscope Cs whole-slide scanning platform and stored as high-resolution images. Image analysis was carried out on three selected fields of equal area using IHC Nuclear and Microvessel analysis algorithms to determine positive Ki67 nuclei and vessel number. Patients were divided into positive and negative interval sentinel lymph node groups, and the positive interval sentinel lymph node group was further divided into interval positive with micrometastasis and interval positive with macrometastasis subgroups. The analysis revealed a significant difference between positive and negative interval sentinel lymph nodes in the percentage of Ki67-positive nuclei and mean vessel number suggestive of an increased cellular proliferation and angiogenesis in positive interval sentinel lymph nodes. Further analysis in the interval positive lymph node group showed a significant difference between micro- and macrometastasis subgroups in the percentage of Ki67-positive nuclei and mean vessel number. Percentage of Ki67-positive nuclei was increased in the macrometastasis subgroup, while mean vessel number was increased in the micrometastasis subgroup. The results of this study suggest that the correlation between tumor cell proliferation and neo-angiogenesis in interval sentinel lymph nodes in melanoma could be used as a good predictive marker to distinguish interval positive sentinel lymph nodes with micrometastasis from interval positive lymph nodes with macrometastasis subgroups.
- Interval lymph node
- Tumor progression
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)