Clinical and biological determinants of melanoma progression: Should all be considered for clinical management?

Australas J Dermatol. 2016 Aug;57(3):175-81. doi: 10.1111/ajd.12348. Epub 2015 May 25.


Cutaneous melanoma is a heterogeneous disease affecting the regulation of multiple genes and proteins that contribute to melanoma progression. Survival for patients with locally invasive disease varies greatly, even within tumour stages based on current prognostic criteria. This has prompted investigations into the value of additional clinical or biological parameters predicting survival. In particular, the improved knowledge of tumour biology has fed the hope that the outcome may be predicted at the molecular level. The prognostic value of numerous potential biomarkers has therefore been evaluated in protein and gene expression studies, and genomic associations with melanoma prognosis are beginning to emerge. These potential biomarkers interrogate key tumour and host processes important for tumour development and progression, such as proliferation, invasion and migration through epithelial mesenchymal transition or the host immune or vascular responses. This research may allow more individualised information on prognosis if the challenges regarding the quality and validation of studies are overcome.

Keywords: biomarker; melanoma; prognosis; review; survival.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Disease Progression
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma / mortality*
  • Melanoma / pathology*
  • Melanoma / physiopathology
  • Melanoma, Cutaneous Malignant
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / pathology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Skin Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Survival Analysis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor