Evaluation of a Gene Expression Profiling Assay in Primary Cutaneous Melanoma

Aaron W. Kangas-Dick, Alissa Greenbaum, Victor Gall, Roman Groisberg, Janice Mehnert, Chunxia Chen, Dirk F. Moore, Adam C. Berger, Vadim Koshenkov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: A significant proportion of deaths from cutaneous melanoma occur among patients with an initial diagnosis of stage 1 or 2 disease. The Decision-Dx Melanoma (DDM) 31-gene assay attempts to stratify these patients by risk of recurrence. This study aimed to evaluate this assay in a large single-institution series. Methods: A retrospective chart review of all patients who underwent surgery for melanoma at a large academic cancer center with DDM results was performed. Patient demographics, tumor pathologic characteristics, sentinel node status, gene expression profile (GEP) class, and recurrence-free survival (RFS) were reviewed. The primary outcomes were recurrence of melanoma and distant metastatic recurrence. Results: Data from 361 patients were analyzed. The median follow-up period was 15 months. Sentinel node biopsy was performed for 75.9% (n = 274) of the patients, 53 (19.4%) of whom tested positive. Overall, 13.6% (n = 49) of the patients had recurrence, and 8% (n = 29) had distant metastatic recurrence. The 3- and 5-year RFS rates were respectively 85% and 75% for the class 1A group, 74% and 47% for the class 1B/class 2A group, and 54% and 45% for the class 2B group. Increased Breslow thickness, ulceration, mitoses, sentinel node biopsy positivity, and GEP class 2B status were significantly associated with RFS and distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS) in the univariate analysis (all p < 0.05). In the multivariate analysis, only Breslow thickness and ulceration were associated with RFS (p < 0.003), and only Breslow thickness was associated with DMFS (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Genetic profiling of cutaneous melanoma can assist in predicting recurrence and help determine the need for close surveillance. However, traditional pathologic factors remain the strongest independent predictors of recurrence risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4582-4589
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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