Incorporating Prognostic Gene Expression Profile Assays into the Management of Cutaneous Melanoma: An Expert Consensus Panel Report

Main Article Content

Danny Zakria
Nicholas Brownstone
Brian Berman
Roger Ceilley
Gary Goldenberg
Mark Lebwohl
Graham Litchman
Daniel Siegel


cutaneous melanoma, malignant melanoma, prognosis, gene expression profile, GEP, sentinel lymph node biopsy, metastasis, genomics


Background: Cutaneous melanoma (CM) guidelines put forth by the eighth edition of the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC8) and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) do not currently account for lesion genomics when assessing prognosis. Gene Expression Profile (GEP) tests have become a widely adopted tool to help clinicians identify patients at higher risk for metastasis and recurrence.

Objective: To review the available literature that has been published since a consensus panel in 2018 on three commercially available GEP tests used in the prognostic assessment of CM and create updated guidelines and consensus statements for their optimal use.

Methods: A comprehensive literature search of PubMed and Google Scholar was conducted for relevant English-language original research articles, meta-analyses, and systematic reviews published from 2019 through 2022. A panel of 6 key opinion leaders in dermatology with specialized expertise in diagnosing and managing CM then convened to review the articles and create guidelines. A modified Delphi process was used to approve each statement. The panel assigned each article a level of evidence and each consensus statement a strength of recommendation using Strength of Recommendation Taxonomy (SORT) criteria.

Results: The literature search identified 785 articles that met the search criteria. Of these, there were 22 articles that validated the 31-GEP test, 2 that validated the 11-GEP test, and 7 that validated the 8-GEP + CP test. The panel unanimously approved 6 usage guidelines and 5 consensus supporting statements for the appropriate use of these tests.

Conclusion: Based on the currently available literature, GEP tests provide valuable information beyond AJCC8 and NCCN guidelines for the prognostic assessment of CM. There are significantly more validation studies supporting the use of the 31-GEP test compared to the 11-GEP test and the 8-GEP + CP test.


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