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Ann Surg Oncol. 2002 Jul;9(6):587-93.

Presence of the human leukocyte antigen class II gene DRB1*1101 predicts interferon gamma levels and disease recurrence in melanoma patients.

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Department of Surgical Oncology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030, USA.



Increased interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) levels are an independent predictor of melanoma recurrence. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II genes can regulate cytokine production; we investigated whether these genes would predict IFN-gamma levels and recurrence in melanoma patients.


Of 591 patients who presented with localized melanoma, 579 underwent identification of HLA class II alleles; 233 melanoma patients and 90 controls underwent determination of plasma IFN-gamma levels. HLA class II genes were examined for association with IFN-gamma levels and disease recurrence.


After a median follow-up of 60 months, melanoma patients with IFN-gamma levels above the mean control value were more likely to have developed disease recurrence compared with patients with levels below the mean. The HLA class II gene HLA-DRB1*1101 was the strongest predictor of recurrence, and HLA-DRB1*1101-positive melanoma patients had increased levels of IFN-gamma compared with patients lacking the gene.


Among patients with localized melanoma, both HLA-DRB1*1101 and increased IFN-gamma levels were associated with an increased risk for recurrence; HLA-DRB1*1101-positive patients had relatively increased levels of IFN-gamma. HLA class II genes may mediate cytokine production in melanoma patients, and this mechanism may help determine the risk of disease recurrence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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