Prognostic significance of tyrosinase expression in sentinel lymph node biopsy for ultra-thin, thin, and thick melanomas

A. Gradilone, P. Gazzaniga, D. Ribuffo, U. Bottoni, L. Frati, A. M. Aglianò, V. Sorvillo, A. Piperno, N. Scuderi, E. Cigna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Investigate if the tyrosinase mRNA expression may be predictive of the outcome on ultra-thin, thin, and thick melanoma patients. AIM: In our study, we sought to correlate tyrosinase mRNA expression to the outcome in a group of 71 patients with thick, thin and ultra-thin melanomas. MATERIALS AND METHODS: 71 patients with melanomas underwent a SLNB (sentinel lymph node biopsy) at the "Sapienza" University of Rome. Among these, 38 patients had thin melanomas, while the other 33 patients had thick melanomas. In every patient's sample histology, immunohistochemistry and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was completed. We then correlated tyrosinase mRNA expression to the statistical analysis of the outcome of patients. RESULTS: Positivity of histology was found in one patient (1.4%), immunohistochemistry in five patients (7%), and tyrosinase in 52/71 (73.2%). Thickness and tyrosinase positivity were predictive for disease progression (p <0.05). The median follow-up was 58.24 months. There were recurrences and/or deaths in both groups of patients. CONCLUSIONS: Nodal metastasis in melanoma is uncommon, especially in patients with thin melanomas. In this study, histology and immunohistochemistry were found to be non predictive for the risk of nodal metastases, while instead, tyrosinase m-RNA expression appeared to play a role in highlighting those patients with a risk of disease progression. Moreover, no differences among the thin melanoma groups of patients (0.30-0.75 mm and 0.76-1.00 mm) were observed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1367-1376
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Melanoma
  • RT-PCR
  • Sentinel lymph node
  • Thin melanoma
  • Tyrosinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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