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Int J Oncol. 2004 Dec;25(6):1559-65.

Altered expression of cell cycle regulators Cyclin D1, p14, p16, CDK4 and Rb in nodular melanomas.

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Department of Pathology, The Gade Institute, Bergen, Norway.


Cell cycle regulating proteins are important in tumour development. To investigate whether alterations in Cyclin D1, p14, CDK4 and Rb are associated with tumour cell proliferation, tumour progression and patient survival in malignant melanoma, we examined 202 vertical growth phase tumours and 68 corresponding metastases for expression of Cyclin D1, p14, CDK4 and Rb, and compared the results with Ki-67 expression, p16 and p53 expression, clinico-pathological variables, and survival data. Nuclear staining of Cyclin D1 was strong in 35% of cases, and correlated with high levels of Rb (p=0.05), but not with survival or other markers tested. Strong staining of p14 was found in 63% of nodular melanomas and was associated with strong p53 expression (p=0.014), and with high levels of CDK4 (p<0.0001). Low p14 expression was associated with increased tumour thickness (p=0.008) and increasing level of invasion (p=0.020). Strong nuclear staining for CDK4 was found in 81% of cases and was associated with tumour thickness below the median value of 3.7 mm and improved survival (log-rank test, p=0.024). Further, 56% of the tumours showed strong nuclear staining for Rb, and these cases were significantly associated with absent/low levels of p16 staining (p=0.030), high levels of p14 (p=0.010), as well as high Ki-67 expression (p=0.005). Our results seem to confirm that the p16-Rb pathway plays an important role in tumour progression and prognosis in vertical growth phase melanomas, whereas alterations in the p14-p53 pathway might be less important.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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