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Prognostic significance of expression of antigens on melanoma cells

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Summary

The expression of antigens on 33 human melanoma cells obtained directly from surgically excised tumours was investigated by means of antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxic assays. Antisera used in the study were two antisera from human melanoma patients against different tumour-associated antigens on melanoma cells and antisera against carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and β2 microglobulin (β2M). Considerable heterogeneity was observed in the expression of both melanoma-associated and non-melanoma antigens on melanoma cells from 33 different patients.

Patients whose tumours were reactive with the melanoma-associated antiserum (CHI) had a significantly longer remission period to stage 2 melanoma. The period to development of stage 3 melanoma also appeared longer, but this was not statistically significant with the number of patients available for study. The expression of CEA, β2M, and the tumour-associated antigen TIN was not significantly related to the recurrence-free interval. There appeared to be a reciprocal expression of the two melanoma-associated antigens, and patients with tumours expressing CHI but not TIN had a significantly longer recurrence-free interval than patients whose tumours had the opposite antigenic pattern.

In the limited number of patients available for study the expression of the antigen CHI did not appear related to thickness of the primary tumour or to immune response of the patients to melanoma cells in leucocyte-dependent antibody and natural killer cell assays. Although the nature of the association between expression of this antigen and longer remission-free period is unknown these results suggest that the expression of certain melanoma antigens on the cell surface may be an important additional variable which has prognostic and therapeutic importance.

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Correspondence to P. Hersey.

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Werkmeister, J., Edwards, A., McCarthy, W. et al. Prognostic significance of expression of antigens on melanoma cells. Cancer Immunol Immunother 9, 233–240 (1980). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00200005

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Keywords

  • Melanoma
  • Natural Killer Cell
  • Melanoma Cell
  • Human Melanoma
  • Human Melanoma Cell