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Brain metastasis is a frequent complication of the progression of malignant melanoma. In a previous study aquaporin 1 (AQP1) protein expression was found to be associated with increased mortality and decreased progression free survival in cutaneous melanoma. To explore further the potential of this marker we studied the AQP1 protein expression in 67 metastatic melanoma patients using immunohistochemistry. Primary tumor samples were acquired from patients with brain (BR) (n = 44) and extra-cranial (EC) (n = 23) metastases, while brain metastatic samples were collected during neurosurgical resection (n = 5). Patients with brain metastases had shorter overall survival (p = 0.02) and significantly higher AQP1 expression in the primary tumors (median H-score = 250 vs. 140, p = 0.044) as compared to patients of the EC metastasis group. AQP1 expression was found to be significantly lower in the brain metastases compared to the corresponding primary tumors (median H-score = 35 vs. 300 p = 0.01). However, in brain metastases AQP1 expression was heterogenous, AQP1 protein was more abundant in the melanoma cells far away from the capillaries as compared to tumor cells adjacent to vessels indicating a hypoxia-driven expression of AQP1. We suggest that AQP1 expression could well be a prognostic marker of brain metastatic potential of human cutaneous melanoma.


E Imrédi, G Liszkay, I Kenessey, V Plotár, M Gödény, B Tóth, I Fedorcsák, József Tímár. Aquaporin-1 Protein Expression of the Primary Tumor May Predict Cerebral Progression of Cutaneous Melanoma. Pathology oncology research : POR. 2020 Jan;26(1):405-410

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PMID: 30378011

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