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Pathol Oncol Res. 2007;13(1):21-31. Epub 2007 Mar 27.

Association of microvessel density with infiltrating cells in human cutaneous malignant melanoma.

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Department of Tumor Progression, National Institute of Oncology, Budapest, H-1122, Hungary.


Vascularization and host response to malignant tumors may have common molecular regulators, therefore, we analyzed the relationship between microvessel density (MVD) and tumor infiltrating cells in cutaneous malignant melanoma. Density of lymphocyte subpopulations, macrophages, dendritic cells and CD34(+) microvessels was determined by immunohistochemistry in primary tumor samples from fifty-two patients with melanoma thicker than 1 mm. Intratumoral MVD did not show significant association with infiltration for any of these cell types. In the case of peritumoral reactive cell densities analyzed in the whole patient population, a positive correlation of MVD was found with CD3(+) T cell density. This association was stronger in melanomas >4.0 mm and in visceral metastatic tumors. In these subgroups similar phenomenon was observed for CD8(+) cells. We found significant correlation of MVD with CD68(+) macrophage density only in the highest thickness category, and weak associations with B-cell and dendritic cell infiltration in visceral metastatic cases. MVD did not vary significantly in tumors categorized according to thickness, localization, ulceration or histological type. However, both intratumoral MVD and macrophage infiltration were significantly higher in male patients compared to females. The correlation of immune cell density with tumor vascularization and gender differences in vascularity and macrophage infiltration of melanoma deserve further attention.

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