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Decreased endothelin receptor B expression in large primary uveal melanomas is associated with early clinical metastasis and short survival

By S L Smith, B E Damato, A G M Scholes, J Nunn, J K Field and J Heighway

Abstract

The most devastating aspect of cancer is the metastasis of tumour cells to organs distant from the original tumour site. The major problem facing oncologists treating uveal melanoma, the most common cancer of the eye, is metastatic disease. To lower mortality, it is necessary to increase our understanding of the molecular genetic alterations involved in this process. Using suppression subtractive hybridisation, we have analysed differential gene expression between four primary tumours from patients who have developed clinical metastasis and four primary tumours from patients with no evidence of metastasis to date. We have identified endothelin receptor type B as differentially expressed between these tumours and confirmed this observation using comparative multiplex RT–PCR. In a further 33 tumours, reduced endothelin receptor type B expression correlated with death from metastatic disease. Reduced expression also correlated with other known prognostic indicators, including the presence of epithelioid cells, chromosome 3 allelic imbalance and chromosome 8q allelic imbalance. Endothelin receptor type B expression was also reduced in four out of four primary small cell lung carcinomas compared to normal bronchial epithelium. We also show that the observed down-regulation of endothelin receptor type B in uveal melanoma was not due to gene deletion. Our findings suggest a role for endothelin receptor type B in the metastasis of uveal melanoma and, potentially, in the metastasis of other neural crest tumours

Topics: Molecular and Cellular Pathology
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:2408898
Provided by: PubMed Central

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