(HealthDay News) — The gene expression profile of sentinel lymph nodes and how it affects immune response may be a marker for prognosis in melanoma, according to research published in the Jan. 1 issue of Cancer Research.
Viviana Vallacchi, MD, of the University of Milan, and colleagues analyzed the transcriptional profiles of biopsy specimens from sentinel lymph nodes in melanoma patients to assess how neoplastic cells trigger metastatic progression.
The researchers found upregulation of genes for the TNF receptor family member CD30/TNFRSF8 in biopsy specimens from sentinel lymph nodes in patients with progressing melanoma. Immunohistochemical analysis showed numbers of CD30+ T lymphocytes were higher in the nodes of patients with progressing disease than in the nodes of those without progressing disease.
Higher levels of these CD30+ T lymphocytes, which included both suppressive and exhausted immune cells, also were found in the peripheral blood of patients with advanced melanoma.
“The strong correlation that we observed between the presence of exhausted/regulatory CD30+ T cells in sentinel node biopsies and disease progression suggests a potential role for this marker in the prognostic evaluation and therapeutic targeting of melanoma,” the researchers wrote.