Increased shedding of HU177 correlates with worse prognosis in primary melanoma

Heather K. Hamilton, Amy E. Rose, Paul J. Christos, Richard L. Shapiro, Russell S. Berman, Madhu Mazumdar, Michelle W. Ma, Daniel Krich, Leonard Liebes, Peter C. Brooks, Iman Osman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Increased levels of cryptic collagen epitope HU177 in the sera of melanoma patients have been shown to be associated with thicker primary melanomas and with the nodular histologic subtype. In this study, we investigate the association between HU177 shedding in the sera and clinical outcome in terms of disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS).Methods: Serum samples from 209 patients with primary melanoma prospectively enrolled in the Interdisciplinary Melanoma Cooperative Group at the New York University Langone Medical Center (mean age = 58, mean thickness = 2.09 mm, stage I = 136, stage II = 41, stage III = 32, median follow-up = 54.9 months) were analyzed for HU177 concentration using a validated ELISA assay. HU177 serum levels at the time of diagnosis were used to divide the study cohort into two groups: low and high HU177. DFS and OS were estimated by Kaplan-Meier survival analysis, and the log-rank test was used to compare DFS and OS between the two HU177 groups. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression models were employed to examine the independent effect of HU177 category on DFS and OS.Results: HU177 sera concentrations ranged from 0-139.8 ng/ml (mean and median of 6.2 ng/ml and 3.7 ng/ml, respectively). Thirty-eight of the 209 (18%) patients developed recurrences, and 34 of the 209 (16%) patients died during follow-up. Higher HU177 serum level was associated with an increased rate of melanoma recurrence (p = 0.04) and with increasing mortality (p = 0.01). The association with overall survival remained statistically significant after controlling for thickness and histologic subtype in a multivariate model (p = 0.035).Conclusions: Increased shedding of HU177 in the serum of primary melanoma patients is associated with poor prognosis. Further studies are warranted to determine the clinical utility of HU177 in risk stratification compared to the current standard of care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
StatePublished - 23 Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes


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