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Am J Dermatopathol. 2011 Oct;33(7):669-74. doi: 10.1097/DAD.0b013e31820d9bf3.

Microvascular lymphatic density analysis in cutaneous regressive and nonregressive superficial spreading melanomas using the lymphatic marker D2-40.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, University of São Paulo Medical School, São Paulo, Brazil. dermatol@uol.com.br



The prognostic significance of spontaneous regression in melanoma, especially thin lesions, has been a controversial issue for the past 20 years, although recent studies suggest that extensive and late regression may be related to worse prognosis. Many data suggest that lymphangiogenesis predicts metastatic spread in melanoma.


We have quantified lymphatic microvascular density (LMVD) in thin (≤ 1.0 mm) superficial spreading melanomas comparing regressive and nonregressive melanomas, regressive and nonregressive areas from the same tumor, and early and late histological stages of regression in the same tumor. In addition, we tried to correlate lymphangiogenesis and tumor growth phase. We conducted histological examinations and immunohistochemical analyses using monoclonal antibody D2-40 with subsequent quantification by image analysis of 37 melanomas, 16 regressive and 21 nonregressive (controls).


We found higher LMVD in the late stage of regression compared with nonregressive area (internal control) of regressive melanomas.


Our study suggest that the late stage of spontaneous regression in thin melanomas may be related to worse prognosis as it showed higher LMVD, and evidence shows that this is related with increased risk of metastatic spread. But this supposition must be confirmed by a longer follow-up for detection of lymph node metastases.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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