Author Interviews, Dermatology, Genetic Research, Melanoma / 23.04.2015

Pedram Gerami, M.D.Associate Professor of Dermatology Director, Melanoma Research Northwestern Skin Cancer Institute Northwestern University MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pedram Gerami, M.D. Associate Professor of Dermatology Director, Melanoma Research Northwestern Skin Cancer Institute Northwestern University MedicalResearch: What is the basis and background for performing this study? Dr. Gerami: Most of the existing literature shows that Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy (SLNB) will identify 25 to 35 percent of patients who will ultimately die of metastatic melanoma. Hence while SLNB is reported to be the strongest predictor of outcome for melanoma, the vast majority of patients who ultimately die of metastatic melanoma have a negative Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy result. Hence in this study we aimed to determine whether a GEP assay developed by Castle bioscience could be used independently or in conjunction with SLNB to better detect those patients who are at high risk for developing metastatic disease and dying from melanoma. MedicalResearch: What are the findings of the study? Dr. Gerami: Our study, which examined the use of a Gene Expression Profile (GEP) assay developed by Castle Biosciences and Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy alone and in combination in a multi-center cohort of 217 patients, demonstrated that the use of the GEP identified more than 80 percent of patients who develop melanoma Combining the two methods showed that patients predicted to be high risk based on the GEP test alone had similar rates of disease progression whether they were SLNB positive or negative. Patients who were SLNB negative and predicted to be low risk using the GEP test had lower rates of disease progression than the SLNB negative group as a whole. (more…)