Cutaneous melanoma (CM) survival is assessed using averaged data from the American Joint Committee on Cancer 8th edition (AJCC8). However, subsets of AJCC8 stages I-III have better or worse survival than the predicted average value. The objective of this study was to determine if the 31-gene expression profile (31-GEP) test for CM can further risk-stratify melanoma-specific mortality within each AJCC8 stage. This retrospective multicenter study of 901 archival CM samples obtained from patients with stages I-III CM assessed 31-GEP test predictions of 5-year melanoma-specific survival (MSS) using Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards. In stage I-III CM population, patients with a Class 2B result had a lower 5-year MSS (77.8%) than patients with a Class 1A result (98.7%) and log-rank testing demonstrated significant stratification of MSS [χ2(2df, n = 901) = 99.7, P < 0.001). Within each stage, 31-GEP data provided additional risk stratification, including in stage I [χ2(2df, n = 415) = 11.3, P = 0.004]. Cox regression multivariable analysis showed that the 31-GEP test was a significant predictor of melanoma-specific mortality (MSM) in patients with stage I-III CM [hazard ratio: 6.44 (95% confidence interval: 2.61-15.85), P < 0.001]. This retrospective study focuses on Class 1A versus Class 2B results. Intermediate results (Class 1B/2A) comprised 21.6% of cases with survival rates between Class 1A and 2B, and similar to 5-year MSS AJCC stage values. Data from the 31-GEP test significantly differentiates MSM into lower (Class 1A) and higher risk (Class 2B) groups within each AJCC8 stage. Incorporating 31-GEP results into AJCC8 survival calculations has the potential to more precisely assess survival and enhance management guidance.
- gene expression profile
- risk stratification