Most patients with thin, early melanomas do very well, having a relatively low risk of disease spread or re-occurrence. However some of these “low risk” patients are not so lucky and end up with re-occurrence, or metastasis. In an effort to better predict which of the “low risk” patients were likely to be in this less fortunate sub-group, investigators used a 31-gene expression profile (31-GEP). The results suggest that the 31-GEP test may help identify high-risk individuals within groups previously considered to be low-risk. This could alert the patient and their treating physicians for the need for more careful follow up and even to consider adjunct treatment. Larger prospective studies will be needed to better understand how and when to use these test and what to do with the results. None the less it is getting us one step closer to better predicting patients risk and so will ultimately help guide management.


Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Identification of Patients at Risk for Metastasis Using a Prognostic 31-Gene Expression Profile in Subpopulations of Melanoma Patients With Favorable Outcomes by Standard Criteria
J Am Acad Dermatol 2018 Aug 03;[EPub Ahead of Print], BR Gastman, P Gerami, SJ Kurley, RW Cook, S Leachman, JT Vetto