NYMC Faculty Publications

Prognostic Biomarkers in Melanoma: Tailoring Treatments to the Patient

Author Type(s)


Journal Title

The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology

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Document Type

Review Article

Publication Date



Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology

Second Department



BACKGROUND: It is often difficult to accurately predict how a melanoma will progress because melanomas can be so diverse in their genetic and histological makeup.

OBJECTIVE: We sought to characterize the current state and progression of biomedical markers towards their utilization as prognostic indicators for patients with melanoma.

METHODS: A literature search of the research repository databases PubMed and GoogleScholar was conducted using the following inclusion criteria: (1) published within the last 10 years, and (2) use of overall survival, disease progression, or clinical outcome as primary endpoints. Search terms included various permutations of "biomarkers," "prognostic," "immunologic," "serologic," "visual," and "melanoma." Results were evaluated for statistical power, results significance, and experimental design integrity.

RESULTS: The prognostic capabilities of clinical tests for malignant melanoma have made great strides in the last few years, with several serologic and immunohistochemical biomarkers being preliminarily linked to various measures of clinical prognosis. While clinical feasibility of a single sensitive and specific biomarker remains unfeasible, use of select combinations of tested biomarkers remain viable.

CONCLUSION: Diagnostic and prognostic genetic assays have begun to cross over from research to commercial application, giving physicians additional tools during the early stages of diagnosis to optimize and individualize treatments.