Purpose: Up to half of uveal melanoma patients die of metastatic disease. Treatment of the primary eye tumor does not improve survival in high-risk patients due to occult micrometastatic disease, which is present at the time of eye tumor diagnosis but is not detected and treated until months to years later. Here, we use microarray gene expression data to identify a new prognostic marker. Experimental Design: Microarray gene expression profiles were analyzed in 25 primary uveal melanomas. Tumors were ranked by support vector machine (SVM) and by cytologic severity. Nbs1 protein expression was assessed by quantitative immunohistochemistry in 49 primary uveal melanomas. Survival was assessed using Kaplan-Meier life-table analysis. Results: Expression of the Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS1) gene correlated strongly with SVM and cytologic tumor rankings (P < 0.0001). Further, immunohistochemistry expression of the Nbs1 protein correlated strongly with both SVM and cytologic rankings (P < 0.0001). The 6-year actuarial survival was 100% in patients with low immunohistochemistry expression of Nbs1 and 22% in those with high Nbs1 expression (P = 0.01). Conclusions: NBS1 is a strong predictor of uveal melanoma survival and potentially could be used as a clinical marker for guiding clinical management.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research