Development of a novel noninvasive adhesive patch test for the evaluation of pigmented lesions of the skin

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014 Aug;71(2):237-44. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2014.04.042. Epub 2014 Jun 4.


Background: The accurate clinical assessment of melanocytic neoplasms is a challenge for clinicians. Currently, obtaining a biopsy specimen and conducting a histologic examination is the standard of care. The incidence of melanoma in white populations is high, resulting in a large number of biopsy specimens.

Objective: The objective of this study is to develop a noninvasive genomic method using mRNA to classify pigmented skin lesions as either benign or malignant.

Methods: An adhesive patch method was used to obtain cells from the surface of melanocytic lesions. mRNA was extracted and a genomic signature was formulated in a training set of benign and malignant melanocytic neoplasms and subsequently tested in a validation set.

Results: A 2-gene signature assessing the expression levels of CMIP and LINC00518 was able to differentiate melanomas from nevi in an independent validation set of 42 melanomas and 22 nevi with a sensitivity of 97.6% and specificity of 72.7%.

Limitations: Larger and more diverse sets of melanomas and nevi are needed for additional validation of the molecular expression profiling in various subsets of melanocytic neoplasms.

Conclusion: Our data suggest that mRNA molecular signatures can serve as a highly useful noninvasive method of differentiating melanoma from nevi and decrease the number of unnecessary biopsies.

Keywords: dysplastic nevi; melanocytic neoplasms; melanoma; molecular signatures; nevi.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Adhesives
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Area Under Curve
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma / chemistry
  • Melanoma / diagnosis*
  • Melanoma / genetics*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nevus, Pigmented / chemistry
  • Nevus, Pigmented / diagnosis*
  • Nevus, Pigmented / genetics*
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis*
  • ROC Curve
  • Skin Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Skin Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Skin Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Skin Tests
  • Young Adult


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Adhesives
  • CMIP protein, human
  • Carrier Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger