Ectopic lymphoid structures in primary cutaneous melanoma

Pathol Oncol Res. 2014 Oct;20(4):981-5. doi: 10.1007/s12253-014-9784-8. Epub 2014 Apr 30.


Ectopic lymphoid structures have been described in several tumor types including metastatic lesions, but not primary tumors, of patients with melanoma. Here we present evidence of B-cell follicles in primary cutaneous melanomas, being present in 39 of 147 cases (27 %). B-cell clusters were associated with T lymphocytes, most of which belonging to CD45RO(+) memory T cells. A network of CD21(+) follicular dendritic cells was demonstrated in 8 of 22 cases studied (36 %). MECA-79(+) HEV-like venules were observed in the neighborhood of the follicles in the majority of cases, however, their presence was not confined to tumors hosting ectopic lymphoid structures. The appearance of B-cell aggregates did not show association with the outcome of the disease, although a trend for their higher prevalence was observed in thicker tumors. Our results show that neogenesis of lymphoid structures does occur in primary melanomas, albeit with lower frequency compared to that reported in metastases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • B-Lymphocytes / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Lymphoid Tissue / pathology*
  • Male
  • Melanoma / mortality
  • Melanoma / pathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Skin Neoplasms / mortality
  • Skin Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Survival Rate

Supplementary concepts

  • Melanoma, Cutaneous Malignant