Publication date: Jan 01, 2021
The aim of the present study was to carried out a comparative immunohistochemical evaluation of CD117 (c-Kit), a biomarker that evaluates both tumor progression and prognosis, in different melanocytic lesions, to emphasize the significance of this biomarker in malignant melanoma (MM). The study was performed on 55 cases, represented by a control group, which included 5 cases of simple nevi and 5 cases of dysplastic nevi, as well as a study group consisting of 35 cases of primary MM and 10 metastases (one intestinal, 3 cutaneous – one satellite and two distant as well as 6 in the lymph nodes). The study group included 15 cases of superficial spreading melanoma (SSM), 10 cases of nodular melanoma (NM), 3 lentigo maligna melanoma (LMM), 3 cases of acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM) and 4 cases of amelanotic MM. CD117 was found to be massively involved in the process of tumorigenesis of cutaneous malignancies, being immunohistochemically undetectable in benign neural lesions, but densely expressed in dysplastic lesions and in situ melanoma areas. In invasive cutaneous MMs, CD117 expression tended to decrease with neoplasia progression proceding into the tumorigenic, vertical growth phase, being lower in the profound dermal component of tumors and in nodular MMs. To eliminate the epidermal barriers and gain a proliferative advantage to allow the transition to the vertical growth phase, it seems that MM should lose expression of c-Kit. Cutaneous metastases were found to express CD117 at a level comparable to their primary tumors, suggesting that other mechanisms interfere directly with the metastatic process and not loss of c-Kit expression by itself. CD117 overexpression in cutaneous melanocytic lesions correlates significantly with increased immunostaining intensity, suggesting that the immunohistochemical evaluation of CD117 may be a good method for screening patients, who could benefit from personalized therapy with tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
Open Access PDF