Molecular Markers of Circulating Melanoma Cells
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Science
Of all skin cancers, cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) is the most aggressive and the life expectancy of patients with lymphatic or systemic metastases is dramatically reduced. Understandably therefore, scientists and clinicians have focused on improving diagnostic and prognostic techniques. Of these, perhaps the most promising are multimarker real-time RT-PCR and microarray for detection of circulating CMM cells in peripheral blood. While the optimal set of markers is still to be identified that can accurately assess disease severity and progression at all clinical stages of the disease, recent progress has been dramatic. Here we provide an exhaustive review of recent studies in which a variety of markers are assessed. Moreover, the efficacy of the markers relative to clinical stage is discussed in light of experimental findings. From these studies, it is apparent that researchers are now much closer to defining a set of markers of circulating cells that can be utilized in routine diagnostic tests.