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Distribution of melanoma specific antibody (HMB-45) in benign and malignant melanocytic tumours

An immunohistochemical study on paraffin sections


The distribution of a recently produced melanoma specific antibody (HMB-45) has been evaluated histochemically on paraffin sections in a large panel of melanocytic and non melanocytic tumours. Results have been compared with the presence of S-100 protein. HMB-45 was shown to be a highly specific antibody being present only in melanomas, junctional melanocytes and histogenetically related neoplasms such as melanocytic neuroectodermal tumour of infancy and, at low levels, on a proportion of peripheral nerve sheath tumours. The high specificity of HMB-45 antibody, coupled with the greater sensitivity of S-100, makes the combined use of these markers practical in the differential diagnosis of skin tumours and of metastatic lesions of uncertain primary site.

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Correspondence to Romano Colombari.

Additional information

This work was supported by the Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro, Milano and Ministero Pubblica Istruzione (60%), Roma. Aldo Scarpa is supported by a Scholarship from the Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro, Milano

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Colombari, R., Bonetti, F., Zamboni, G. et al. Distribution of melanoma specific antibody (HMB-45) in benign and malignant melanocytic tumours. Vichows Archiv A Pathol Anat 413, 17–24 (1988).

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Key words

  • Malignant melanoma
  • Anti-human-melanoma monoclonal antibody
  • Immunohistochemistry