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Open Access Research article

A combination of p300 and Braf expression in the diagnosis and prognosis of melanoma

Madhuri Bhandaru1, Gholamreza Safaee Ardekani1, Guohong Zhang1, Magdalena Martinka2, Kevin J McElwee1, Gang Li1 and Anand Rotte1*

Author Affiliations

1 Skin Cancer Biology Laboratory, Department of Dermatology and Skin Science, University of British Columbia, Research Pavilion, 828 West, 10th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1 L8, Canada

2 Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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BMC Cancer 2014, 14:398  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-398

Published: 3 June 2014

Abstract

Background

To date only a handful of drugs are available for the treatment of melanoma. Among them vemurafenib, a BrafV600E specific inhibitor, showed promising results in terms of response rate and increase in median survival time. However, its effectiveness is limited by development of resistance and the search for additional drugs for melanoma treatment is ongoing. The present study was performed to analyze the correlation between Braf expression and the expression of p300, a known down stream target of the mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway, which was recently shown by us to be a prognostic marker for melanoma progression and patient survival.

Methods

The expression of Braf and p300 expression were correlated and analyzed by Chi-square test. A total of 327 melanoma patient cases (193 primary melanoma and 134 metastatic melanoma) were used for the study. Classification & regression tree (CRT), Kaplan-Meier, and multivariate Cox regression analysis were used to elucidate the significance of the combination of Braf and p300 expression in the diagnosis and prognosis of melanoma.

Results

Our results demonstrate that Braf expression is inversely correlated with nuclear p300 and positively correlated with cytoplasmic p300 expression. Braf and cytoplasmic p300 were found to be associated with melanoma progression, tumor size and ulceration status. CRT analysis revealed that a combination of Braf and p300 expression (nuclear and cytoplasmic), could be used to distinguish between nevi and melanoma, and primary from metastatic melanoma lesions. The combination of Braf and nuclear p300 was significantly associated with patient survival and nuclear p300 was found to be an independent predictor of patient survival.

Conclusion

Our results indicate a cross-talk between Braf and p300 in melanoma and demonstrate the importance Braf and p300 expression in the diagnosis and prognosis of melanoma.

Keywords:
p300; Braf; Melanoma; Prognosis; AJCC; Patient survival