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Mod Pathol. 2003 Aug;16(8):802-10.

Expression of the B-cell proliferation marker MUM1 by melanocytic lesions and comparison with S100, gp100 (HMB45), and MelanA.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, California 94305, USA. sundram@stanford.de


The diagnosis of malignant melanoma remains one of the most difficult to render in surgical pathology, partially because of its extreme histologic variability. Limits in the sensitivity and/or specificity of the currently available melanocytic markers such as anti-S100, HMB45, and anti-MelanA further complicate this problem. Previous work has demonstrated that the B-cell proliferation/differentiation marker MUM1/IRF4 is detected in malignant melanoma and hematolymphoid malignancies, but not in any other neoplasm tested (including colonic, lung, breast, and ovarian carcinomas). In the current study, we have examined MUM1 protein expression in 61 melanocytic lesions and compared the diagnostic usefulness of this marker with that of anti-S100, HMB45, and anti-MelanA. The results indicate that MUM1 is positive in 33/36 (92%) cases of melanoma (21/22 [95%] conventional primary melanomas and 12/14 [86%] metastatic melanomas). In comparison, positivity was seen with anti-S100 in 36/36 cases (100%, 22 primary and 14 metastatic), HMB45 in 28 cases (78%, 17 primary and 11 metastatic), and anti-MelanA in 27 cases (75%, 19 primary and 8 metastatic). Although negative in schwannomas, neurofibromas, and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors, MUM1 is detected in only one in eight cases of spindle cell and desmoplastic melanomas. With the exception of desmoplastic and spindle cell melanomas, MUM1 appears to be a sensitive and specific immunohistochemical stain for melanocytic lesions and may prove to be a useful addition to the current panel of melanoma markers.

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