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Immunohistochemical study of pepsinogen C expression in cutaneous malignant melanoma: association with clinicopathological parameters



Immunohistochemical study of pepsinogen C expression in cutaneous malignant melanoma: association with clinicopathological parameters



International Journal of Biological Markers 16(4): 240-244



The aim of this study was to evaluate the pepsinogen C expression in malignant cutaneous melanomas and analyze its possible relationship to clinical and pathological parameters. Pepsinogen C is an aspartyl proteinase primarily involved in the digestion of proteins in the stomach and represents one of the main androgen-inducible proteins in breast cancer cells. Tumoral pepsinogen C expression was retrospectively analyzed in 35 paraffin-embedded tissues from patients with primary malignant cutaneous melanoma and in 10 samples from 10 benign lesions (4 dermal melanocytic nevi, 4 compound melanocytic nevi and 2 dysplastic melanocytic nevi), using immunohistochemical methods. The benign lesions were consistently negative for pepsinogen C, whereas 20 of the 35 malignant melanomas (57%) showed positive immunostaining for pepsinogen C. The percentage of pepsinogen C-positive tumors was significantly higher in men than in women (p=0.01) and in epithelioid melanomas than in fusocellular or mixed type melanomas (p=0.003). In addition, the percentage of pepsinogen-C positive tumors was positively and significantly correlated with lesion thickness (p=0.003), Clark's level of invasion (p=0.028) and tumor stage (p<0.001). Pepsinogen C could be a new prognosticator of unfavorable outcome in cutaneous malignant melanoma.

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Accession: 046335280

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PMID: 11820718


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