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Br J Cancer. 1994 Dec;70(6):1224-8.

NM23 expression in metastasis of malignant melanoma is a predictive prognostic parameter correlated with survival.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Institut Paoli-Calmettes, Marseille, France.


The management of patients presenting with metastatic malignant melanoma (MM) is hampered by the substantial variability in survival of these patients and the lack of prognostic markers. In the search for a reliable predictive parameter, we have investigated the expression of the nm23 gene, considered to be a major regulator of the metastatic process. We have analysed by Northern blot the nm23 mRNA level in tumour tissue obtained from metastases of 20 stage II and ten stage III patients with MM. Normal human tissues and benign naevi were simultaneously examined. The level of nm23 expression was highly heterogeneous in MM metastases, with a mean value which was higher than the mean level in normal tissues and naevi. Correlative study was focused on the overall survival following resection of the metastasis in which nm23 Northern blot analysis was performed. Patients displaying higher nm23 expression in metastatic tissue (above the mean level) tended to have a longer survival than others (P = 0.08), and this difference was significant for patients presenting with isolated regional lymph node involvement (P = 0.035). The time from biopsy of the primary MM to the appearance of the first lymph node metastasis also showed a positive correlation with the nm23 mRNA level in this metastasis. The present study is not only in accordance with previous reports showing that the nm23 gene may be implicated in MM progression, but also suggests the reliable value of nm23 expression as a prognostic marker for patients presenting with metastatic MM.

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