PRAME Expression in Cancer. A Systematic Immunohistochemical Study of >5800 Epithelial and Nonepithelial Tumors

Am J Surg Pathol. 2022 Nov 1;46(11):1467-1476. doi: 10.1097/PAS.0000000000001944. Epub 2022 Aug 16.


Preferentially expressed antigen in melanoma (PRAME) is considered a useful marker in the differential diagnosis between malignant melanoma and its melanocytic mimics. Recently PRAME expression was documented in nonmelanocytic tumors, but much of the data are based on mRNA studies. This investigation evaluated PRAME expression in the spectrum of normal tissues and >5800 human tumors using immunohistochemistry and EP461 monoclonal antibody. In normal tissues, PRAME was expressed in the testis and proliferative endometrium. In tumors, PRAME was variably expressed in malignancies of different lineages. Among epithelial tumors, >50% of PRAME-positive lesions were found among endometrial carcinomas (82%), uterine serous carcinomas (82%), uterine carcinosarcomas (60%), ovarian clear cell carcinomas (90%), ovarian serous carcinomas (63%), adenoid cystic carcinomas (81%), seminomas (78%), thymic carcinomas (75%), and basal cell carcinomas (62%). In mesenchymal and neuroectodermal malignancies, PRAME was frequently expressed in synovial sarcoma (71%), myxoid liposarcoma (76%), neuroblastoma (61%) and metastatic melanoma (87%). Also, PRAME was consistently expressed in 4 melanomas that lacked all melanoma markers including S100 protein and SOX10 but harbored typical for melanoma BRAF or NRAS driver mutations. However, strong and diffuse PRAME immunoreactivity was seen in many types of nonmelanocytic poorly differentiated carcinomas and sarcomas. Based on this study, PRAME is a relatively unspecific immunohistochemical marker, which limits its use in diagnostic surgical pathology. However, immunohistochemistry is a reliable and unexpensive method useful in detecting PRAME-positive malignancies for potential immunotherapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Neoplasm* / genetics
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Carcinoma* / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma* / pathology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger
  • S100 Proteins
  • Skin Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Uterine Neoplasms* / pathology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • PRAME protein, human
  • RNA, Messenger
  • S100 Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf