Identification of high-risk cutaneous melanoma tumors is improved when combining the online American Joint Committee on Cancer Individualized Melanoma Patient Outcome Prediction Tool with a 31-gene expression profile–based classification

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A significant proportion of patients with American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC)-defined early-stage cutaneous melanoma have disease recurrence and die. A 31-gene expression profile (GEP) that accurately assesses metastatic risk associated with primary cutaneous melanomas has been described.


We sought to compare accuracy of the GEP in combination with risk determined using the web-based AJCC Individualized Melanoma Patient Outcome Prediction Tool.


GEP results from 205 stage I/II cutaneous melanomas with sufficient clinical data for prognostication using the AJCC tool were classified as low (class 1) or high (class 2) risk. Two 5-year overall survival cutoffs (AJCC 79% and 68%), reflecting survival for patients with stage IIA or IIB disease, respectively, were assigned for binary AJCC risk.


Cox univariate analysis revealed significant risk classification of distant metastasis-free and overall survival (hazard ratio range 3.2-9.4, P < .001) for both tools. In all, 43 (21%) cases had discordant GEP and AJCC classification (using 79% cutoff). Eleven of 13 (85%) deaths in that group were predicted as high risk by GEP but low risk by AJCC.


Specimens reflect tertiary care center referrals; more effective therapies have been approved for clinical use after accrual.


The GEP provides valuable prognostic information and improves identification of high-risk melanomas when used together with the AJCC online prediction tool.

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