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Br J Plast Surg. 2000 Jan;53(1):46-50.

An analysis of p16 tumour suppressor gene expression in acral lentiginous melanoma.

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  • 1RAFT Institute of Plastic Surgery and, Gray Laboratory Cancer Research Trust, Mount Vernon Hospital, Northwood, Middlesex, UK.


Acral lentiginous melanoma is a particularly aggressive melanocytic lesion but, due to its comparative rarity, biological investigations into the behaviour of this subtype of melanoma are lacking. The activity of the recently described p16 tumour suppressor gene, thought to be the 'familial melanoma gene', was studied in 24 patients with subungual melanoma and 44 patients with plantar melanoma. Lower levels of p16 oncoprotein were demonstrated than that found in other histogenetic types of melanoma. Stratification of patients of all disease stages revealed a poorer survival in patients with low p16 expression (log rank test, chi(2)= 3.9, P = 0. 05). These data suggest that p16 inactivation may play an important role in the development and progression of acral lentiginous melanomas. However, the level of p16 expression was not prognostic since survival analysis on stratification of stage I patients according to p16 level did not reach statistical significance for both survival and disease free interval.

Copyright 2000 The British Association of Plastic Surgeons.

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