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Del Sordo R. 1, Simonetti S. 2, Cavaliere A. 1, Colella R. 1, Mameli M. G. 1, Bellezza G. 1, Sidoni A. 1
1 Institute of Pathologic Anatomy and Histology, Medical School, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy;
2 Department of Dermatology, Santa Maria della Misericordia Hospital, Perugia, Italy
Aim. IMP3 is a RNA-binding protein expressed in several normal tissues and in a wide variety of cancers. The purpose of our study was to evaluate IMP3 expression in 21 cases of cutaneous melanoma with metastasis to sentinel lymph node (SLN+) and in 21 cases with no sentinel lymph node metastasis (SLN-) to determine whether it is a prognostic biomarker for identifying more aggressive melanomas and predicting SLN metastasis.
Methods. The expression of IMP3 was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and the findings correlated with clinicopathological features of melanomas and histopathological characteristics of SLN+.
Results and conclusion. Immunostaining for IMP-3 was positive in 26 samples of which 16 (62%) were SLN+ and 10 (38%) SLN-. IMP-3 expression showed a significant association with Breslow depth >1 mm (P=0.011), nonbrisk tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte response (P=0.004) and absence of regression (P=0.008). There was a significant association of IMP-3 expression in SLN+ melanoma with nonbrisk or absence of tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte response (P=0.013) or macrometastases (P=0.005). IMP-3 expression in SLN- melanomas was associated with absence of regression (P=0.035). IMP-3 is expressed in melanomas with a worse clinical course and it could be a possible tool in predicting SLN metastases. In addition our study shows the controversial relations between IMP-3 and regression.