A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Gene Expression Profiling for Primary Cutaneous Melanoma Prognosis

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Graham H Litchman
Giselle Prado
Rebeca W Teplitz
Darrell Rigel


gene expression profile, melanoma prognosis, systematic review and meta analysis


To decrease morbidity and mortality from melanoma, it is imperative to identify patients who are at high risk for developing widespread disease. Gene expression profiling (GEP) technology may impact melanoma management as physicians are better equipped to measure prognosis. Many different GEP signatures have been investigated. We searched Pubmed, Cochrane CENTRAL, and Embase for studies on GEP in primary melanoma prognosis and assessed GEP signatures for prognostic and analytic validity and clinical impact. The relationship between GEP and survival was measured using hazard ratios (HR) and odds ratios (OR). We found twenty-nine articles comprising 9 gene signatures meeting inclusion criteria and conducted a meta-analysis on 6 studies on a 31-gene signature. High-risk GEP status was associated with poorer recurrence-free survival (HR=7.22; 95% CI, 4.75-10.98), distant metastasis-free survival (HR=6.62; 95% CI, 4.91-8.91), and overall survival (HR=7.06; 95% CI, 4.44-11.22); as well as sentinel lymph node biopsy positivity (OR=2.99; 95% CI, 2.15-4.15). With recent improvements in treating advanced melanoma, accurately assessing prognosis is important. This study has clinical implications for melanoma patients who may benefit from prognostic testing. These results may be useful to clinicians when ordering GEP testing and help them make better management decisions.


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