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Anticancer Res. 1996 Jan-Feb;16(1):517-31.

Immunophenotypically varied cell subpopulations in primary and metastatic human melanomas. Monoclonal antibodies for diagnosis, detection of neoplastic progression and receptor directed immunotherapy.

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Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA.


During a systematic, immunocytochemical screening of 40 human cutaneous melanomas (30 primary and 10 metastatic) for immunophenotype (IP) heterogeneity, we employed a library of 20 well characterized, commercially available mono- and polyclonal antibodies. The use of the sensitive, indirect, four to six step immunoperoxidase or alkaline phosphatase conjugated streptavidin-biotin antigen detection technique provided excellent results. The immunocytochemically most characteristic IP for primary cutaneous melanoma, as detected by us was: HMB45+, S-100+, CEA+, vimentin+, cytokeratin 19+, p53+, Rbgene+, nm23+, HLA-DR+, HL.A-DP+, c-erbB3/HER-3+/-, cytokeratin 10/13+/-, HLA-DQ-, cytokeratin 5/8-, EMA-, c-myc-, and actin-. During melanoma progression, a tendency toward poor differentiation (dedifferentiation) and an increase in c-myc expression have both been observed, the latter downregulating HLA-A,B,C expression and consequently diminishing the possibility of melanoma cell Iysis by powerful CD8+, cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) or other cytotoxic cells which requires HLA class I antigens. The development of the metastatic potential in melanomas caused an increase in CEA expression, eliminated the presence of nm23, and prompted the appearance of actin among the intermediate filaments, composing the cytoskeleton of these malignant tumor cells. The most characteristic IP for MMs, identified by this study was HMB45+, S-100+, CEA+, EMA+, vimentin+, HLA-DR+, HLA-DP+, cytokeratin 19+, actin-, c-erbB3/HER-3+, p53+, cytokeratin 10/13+/-, c-myc+/-, c-erbB2/HER-2+/-, HLA-DQ-, cytokeratin 5/8-, Rb gene-, nm23-. It has been observed that adhesion molecules and integrins play a significant role in the complex process of melanoma metastasis and thus we propose a blocking of these de novo expressed molecules with the appropriate antibodies as a form of immunotherapy of PMs and early stages of MMs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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