Sentinel lymph node risk prognostication in primary cutaneous melanoma through tissue-based profiling, potentially redefining the need for sentinel lymph node biopsy


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The role of Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy (SLNB) is pivotal in the contemporary staging of cutaneous melanoma. In this review, we examine advanced molecular testing platforms like gene expression profiling (GEP) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) as tools for predicting the prognosis of sentinel lymph nodes. We compare these innovative approaches with traditional staging assessments. Additionally, we delve into the shared genetic and protein markers between GEP and IHC tests and their relevance to melanoma biology, exploring their prognostic and predictive characteristics. Finally, we assess alternative methods to potentially obviate the need for SLNB altogether.

RECENT FINDINGS: Progress in adjuvant melanoma therapy has diminished the necessity of Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy (SLNB) while underscoring the importance of accurately identifying high-risk stage I and II melanoma patients who may benefit from additional anti-tumor interventions. The clinical application of testing through gene expression profiling (GEP) or immunohistochemistry (IHC) is gaining traction, with platforms such as DecisionDx, Merlin Assay (CP-GEP), MelaGenix GEP, and Immunoprint coming into play. Currently, extensive validation studies are in progress to incorporate routine molecular testing into clinical practice. However, due to significant methodological limitations, widespread clinical adoption of tissue-based molecular testing remains elusive at present.

SUMMARY: While various tissue-based molecular testing platforms have the potential to stratify the risk of sentinel lymph node positivity (SLNP), most suffer from significant methodological deficiencies, including limited sample size, lack of prospective validation, and limited correlation with established clinicopathological variables. Furthermore, the genes and proteins identified by individual gene expression profiling (GEP) or immunohistochemistry (IHC) tests exhibit minimal overlap, even when considering the most well-established melanoma mutations. However, there is hope that the ongoing prospective trial for the Merlin Assay may safely reduce the necessity for SLNB procedures if successful. Additionally, the MelaGenix GEP and Immunoprint tests could prove valuable in identifying high-risk stage I-II melanoma patients and potentially guiding their selection for adjuvant therapy, thus potentially reducing the need for SLNB. Due to the diverse study designs employed, effective comparisons between GEP or IHC tests are challenging, and to date, there is no study directly comparing the clinical utility of these respective GEP or IHC tests.

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StatusVeröffentlicht - 05.2024

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Copyright © 2024 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

PubMed 38518535