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Serial detection of circulating tumour cells by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assays is a marker for poor outcome in patients with malignant melanoma

Palmieri, Giuseppe and Satriano, Sabrina Maria Rosaria and Budroni, Mario and Cossu, Antonio and Tanda, Francesco and Canzanella, Sergio and Caracò, Corrado and Simeone, Ester and Daponte, Antonio and Mozzillo, Nicola and Comella, Giuseppe and Castello, Giuseppe and Ascierto, Paolo Antonio (2006) Serial detection of circulating tumour cells by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assays is a marker for poor outcome in patients with malignant melanoma. BMC Cancer, Vol. 6 (266), p. 1-8. ISSN 1471-2407. Article.

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DOI: 10.1186/1471-2407-6-266

Abstract

Background. Detection of circulating malignant cells (CMCs) through a reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay seems to be a demonstration of systemic disease. We here evaluated the prognostic role of RT-PCR assays in serially-taken peripheral blood samples from patients with malignant melanoma (MM). Methods. One hundred forty-nine melanoma patients with disease stage ranging from I to III were consecutively collected in 1997. A multi-marker RT-PCR assay was used on peripheral blood samples obtained at time of diagnosis and every 6 months during the first two years of follow-up (total: 5 samples). Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed after 83 months of median follow-up. Results. Detection of at least one circulating mRNA marker was considered a signal of the presence of CMC (referred to as PCR-positive assay). A significant correlation was found between the rate of recurrences and the increasing number of PCR-positive assays (P = 0.007). Presence of CMC in a high number (≥2) of analysed blood samples was significantly correlated with a poor clinical outcome (disease-free survival: P = 0.019; overall survival: P = 0.034). Multivariate analysis revealed that presence of a PCR-positive status does play a role as independent prognostic factors for overall survival in melanoma patients, adding precision to the predictive power of the disease stage. Conclusion. Our findings indicated that serial RT-PCR assay may identify a high risk subset of melanoma patients with occult cancer cells constantly detected in blood circulation. Prolonged presence of CMCs seems to act as a surrogate marker of disease progression or a sign of more aggressive disease.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:175
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords:Melanoma, RT-PCR assays, circulating malignant cells (CMCs), multivariate analysis
Subjects:Area 06 - Scienze mediche > MED/06 Oncologia medica
Divisions:002 Altri enti e centri di ricerca del Nord Sardegna > Azienda ASL1, Sassari > Centro multizonale di osservazione epidemiologica
002 Altri enti e centri di ricerca del Nord Sardegna > Azienda ASL1, Sassari > Servizio di anatomia patologica
002 Altri enti e centri di ricerca del Nord Sardegna > CNR-Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche > Istituto di chimica biomolecolare, Sassari
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1471-2407
Deposited On:18 Aug 2009 10:01

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