Introduction: Ulcerated melanomas may have a unique biology and microenvironment. We test whether markers of immune infiltration correlate with clinical outcome in ulcerated compared to non-ulcerated primary melanoma tumors. Methods: Sixty-two stage II–III cutaneous melanomas, 32 ulcerated and 30 non-ulcerated, were analyzed for tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was performed for CD2, a marker previously shown to correlate with overall survival (OS) and recurrence-free survival (RFS) in this patient population. IHC using antibody, VE1, to BRAF V600E was also performed on a subset of 41 tumors to assess the relationship of BRAF mutation to immune markers. Results: We found, using Cox regression models, that the presence of TILs was associated with improved OS (p = 0.034) and RFS (p = 0.002) in ulcerated melanoma tumors, but not in non-ulcerated melanoma (p = 0.632, 0.416). CD2 expression also was correlated with improved OS (p = 0.021) and RFS (p = 0.001) in ulcerated melanoma, but no relationship was seen in non-ulcerated melanoma (p = 0.427, 0.682). In this small population, BRAF status did not correlate with TILs or CD2+ count. Conclusion: Our data show that immune markers including TILs and CD2 count correlate more closely with survival in ulcerated melanomas than that in non-ulcerated melanomas. We propose that immune biomarkers may be particularly relevant to ulcerated, as compared to non-ulcerated, melanomas and that this merits study in larger populations.
- Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Cancer Research