Immunohistochemical analysis of metallothionein expression in malignant melanoma in Japanese patients

Am J Dermatopathol. 2001 Feb;23(1):29-35. doi: 10.1097/00000372-200102000-00005.

Abstract

Recently, Zelger et al. found that metallothionein expression in melanoma is a useful prognostic indicator in white patients. In this study, we evaluated metallothionein expression in patients with melanoma as a prognostic indicator. We studied the tumors of 44 patients with cutaneous melanoma seen in our clinic from July 1988 to August 1998. Twenty-five neoplasms were metallothionein-positive, and 19 were metallothionein-negative. Only 9 (37.5%) of 24 cases of level I through III melanoma were positive for metallothionein, but 16 (80%) of 20 level IV and V cases were positive. Eight (40%) of 20 cases of "thin" melanoma (thickness: < or = 1.5 mm) were metallothionein-positive, and 17 (70.8%) of 24 cases of "thick" melanoma (thickness: > 1.5 mm) were metallothionein-positive. These results indicate a strong correlation of metallothionein expression with the level of invasion and tumor thickness in melanoma. The survival distribution function curve (Kaplan-Meier) for metallothionein expression showed a much better survival rate in the metallothionein-negative group than in the metallothionein-positive group.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Melanoma / metabolism*
  • Melanoma / mortality
  • Melanoma / secondary
  • Metallothionein / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nevus, Pigmented / metabolism
  • Nevus, Pigmented / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Skin Neoplasms / mortality
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Survival Analysis
  • Survival Rate

Substances

  • Metallothionein