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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013 Nov 8;54(12):7354-61. doi: 10.1167/iovs.13-12407.

Chemokine receptor CCR7 expression predicts poor outcome in uveal melanoma and relates to liver metastasis whereas expression of CXCR4 is not of clinical relevance.

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Department of Pathology, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.



To examine the prognostic relevance of expression of the chemokine receptors CCR7 and CXCR4 and its ligand CXCL12 in uveal melanoma in nonmetastatic and metastatic patients with correlation to liver metastasis and overall survival.


Primary uveal melanoma specimens from 19 patients with correlating liver metastasis specimens and 30 primary uveal melanoma specimens of patients without metastasis were collected between the years 1988 and 2008. Expression of CCR7, CXCR4, and CXCL12 were studied using immunohistochemistry. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays were used to examine gains or losses of chromosomes 1, 3, 6, and 8 and the regions of CCR7 (17q12-q21.2), CXCR4 (2q21), and CXCL12 (10q11.1) genes.


Strong cytoplasmic staining for CCR7 correlated with the presence of epithelioid cells (P = 0.037), tumor thickness (P = 0.011), lymphocytic infiltration (P = 0.041), and necrosis (P = 0.045). Nuclear staining for CXCR4 correlated with lymphocytic infiltration (P = 0.017). CXCL12 showed no correlation to histologic parameters. Single nucleotide polymorphism analyses showed no copy number variations in the regions of CCR7, CXCR4, or CXCL12. Strong expression of CCR7 was observed in 76% of the metastatic patients and 0% of nonmetastasis patients. In multivariate analysis, CCR7 staining was inversely correlated to overall survival and disease-free survival, whereas CXCR4 nuclear staining was not.


Our data suggest that CCR7 plays a role in uveal melanoma metastasis and is associated with poor survival. CCR7 and its involved related pathways are of prognostic value in uveal melanoma and may prove to be a target for therapeutic intervention.


SNP analyses; chemokine receptors; survival analyses; uveal melanoma

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