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Expression of MCSP and PRAME in conjunctival melanoma
  1. Henrike Westekemper1,
  2. Sara Karimi1,
  3. Daniela Süsskind2,
  4. Gerasimos Anastassiou1,
  5. Michael Freistühler1,
  6. Daniel Meller1,
  7. Michael Zeschnigk3,
  8. Klaus-Peter Steuhl1,
  9. Norbert Bornfeld1,
  10. Kurt-Werner Schmid4,
  11. Florian Grabellus4
  1. 1Department of Ophthalmology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
  2. 2Department of Ophthalmology, Eberhard-Karls University Tübingen, Germany
  3. 3Institute for Humangenetics, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
  4. 4Institute of Pathology and Neuropathology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr Henrike Westekemper, Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital of Essen, Hufelandstr. 55, D-45147 Essen, Germany; henrike.westekemper{at}


Background To analyse the expression of melanoma chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (MCSP) and the preferentially expressed antigen of melanoma (PRAME) in conjunctival melanoma (CoM), lymph node (LN) metastases of cutaneous melanoma (CM) and conjunctival nevi (CoN) by immunohistology.

Methods Immunohistology was performed in 70 samples of CoM, 25 of LN metastases of CM and 12 of CoN, and assessed by an immunoreactive score (0–12 points). Statistical analysis was performed to disclose relevant differences in the expression pattern. The diagnostic value of the markers was tested by receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis.

Results MCSP and PRAME were expressed at significantly higher levels in CoM and LN metastases of CM than in CoN (p<0.0001). Within CoM, an MCSP expression <9.0 points meant higher risk for recurrences (Cox HR=3.1) and a shorter recurrence-free survival (p=0.002) than an MCSP expression >9.0 points. ROC analysis showed an area under the curve of 91.3% for MCSP (p=0.0002) and 93.8% for PRAME (p<0.0001).

Conclusions MCSP and PRAME are differentially expressed in conjunctival melanomas and nevi. MCSP might have an impact on the risk for recurrence in being inversely correlated to the event. Both markers have high potential to discriminate CoM from CoN. The results indicate that immunohistological characteristics gain relevance in the assessment of CoM.

  • MCSP
  • conjunctiva
  • melanoma
  • immunohistochemistry
  • conjunctiva
  • pathology
  • neoplasia
  • diagnostic tests/investigation

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  • Funding The study was funded by the Medical Faculty of the University Duisburg-Essen.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the ethics committee of the Medical Faculty of the University Hospital Essen, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.