Gene expression profiling in uveal melanoma reveals two molecular classes and predicts metastatic death

Michael D. Onken, Lori A. Worley, Justis P. Ehlers, J. William Harbour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

431 Scopus citations


Melanomas are notoriously difficult to classify because of a lack of discrete clinical and pathological stages. Here, we show that primary uveal melanomas surprisingly cluster into two distinct molecular classes based on gene expression profile. Genes that discriminate class 1 (low-grade) from class 2 (high-grade) include highly significant clusters of down-regulated genes on chromosome 3 and up-regulated genes on chromosome 8q, which is consistent with previous cytogenetic studies. A three-gene signature allows biopsy-size tumor samples to be assigned accurately to tumor classes using either array or PCR platforms. Most importantly, this molecular classification strongly predicts metastatic death and outperforms other clinical and pathological prognostic indicators. These studies offer new insights into melanoma pathogenesis, and they provide a practical foundation for effective clinical predictive testing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7205-7209
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Research
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 15 2004
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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