MiRNAs as Potential Prognostic Biomarkers for Metastasis in Thin and Thick Primary Cutaneous Melanomas

Anticancer Res. 2019 Aug;39(8):4085-4093. doi: 10.21873/anticanres.13566.


Background/aim: The identification of novel prognostic biomarkers for melanoma metastasis is essential to improve patient outcomes. To this aim, we characterized miRNA expression profiles in relation to metastasis in melanoma and correlated miRNAs expression with clinical-pathological factors.

Materials and methods: MiR-145-5p, miR-150-5p, miR-182-5p, miR-203-3p, miR-205-5p and miR-211-5p expression levels were analyzed in primary cutaneous melanomas, including thin and thick melanomas, and in melanoma metastases by quantitative Real-Time PCR.

Results: A significantly lower miR-205-5p expression was found in metastases compared to primary melanomas. Furthermore, a progressive down-regulation of miR-205-5p expression was observed from loco-regional to distant metastasis. Significantly lower miR-145-5p and miR-203-3p expression levels were found in cases with Breslow thickness >1 mm, high Clark level, ulceration and mitotic rate ≥1/mm2 Conclusion: Our findings point to miR-205-5p as potential biomarker of distant metastases and to miR-145-5p and miR-203-3p as markers of aggressiveness in melanoma.

Keywords: Cutaneous melanoma; metastasis; metastatic melanoma; microRNAs; molecular biomarkers; thick melanoma; thin melanoma.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / genetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma / genetics*
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Melanoma, Cutaneous Malignant
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Prognosis
  • Skin Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • MIRN145 microRNA, human
  • MIRN150 microRNA, human
  • MIRN203 microRNA, human
  • MIRN205 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • Mirn182 microRNA, human