Immune biomarkers are more accurate in prediction of survival in ulcerated than in non-ulcerated primary melanomas

Ellen H. de Moll, Yichun Fu, Yingzhi Qian, Sara H. Perkins, Shira Wieder, Sacha Gnjatic, Romain Remark, Sebastian G. Bernardo, Marina Moskalenko, Jonathan Yao, Tammie Ferringer, Rui Chang, Jerry Chipuk, Basil A. Horst, Miriam B. Birge, Robert G. Phelps, Yvonne M. Saenger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1193-1203
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Immunology, Immunotherapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - 21 Sep 2015


  • Biomarker
  • CD2
  • Melanoma
  • Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes
  • Ulceration


Dive into the research topics of 'Immune biomarkers are more accurate in prediction of survival in ulcerated than in non-ulcerated primary melanomas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this