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Melanoma prognosis and/or staging method

Breslow thicknessMelanomamicroRNAprognosisstaging

Introduction

The invention refers to a method to determine the prognosis and / or staging of a cutaneous melanoma through measuring particular microRNAs, whose expression correlates with the Breslow thickness. The definition of Breslow thickness is essential for the accurate determination of the diagnosis, management and prognosis of melanoma patients.

Technical features

Melanoma is a skin cancer whose incidence has been steady increasing in recent years. Currently the standard for staging and subsequent prognosis is based on measuring the thickness of the melanoma, also known as Breslow thickness. It is measured through an ocular micrometer and the value must be reported with approximation to the first decimal place. This measure is apparently influenced by the instrument used and by human factor.

The inventors  have developed and tested a method based on the quantification of specific human microRNAs for the assessment of melanoma prognosis based on the correlation with Breslow’s thickness, a measure of melanoma depth. The quantification of these microRNAs could be used as a new molecular diagnostic parameter of melanoma prognosis in substitution or alternative of the currently available methods.

Possible Applications

  • Laboratory test for objective staging of melanoma.

Advantages

  • Effective even in cases where the evaluation with standard technique is uncertain;
  • No specific medical expertise or skills needed for the interpretation;
  • Overcoming inter-observer variability.