Aims It has been proposed that the expression of chemokines and chemokine receptors by melanoma cells may have a role in tumour immune escape. Chemokine CCL27 is reported to be expressed specifically on the epidermal keratinocytes. The implication of CCL27 in cutaneous melanomas is currently unresolved. It has been suggested that CCL27 expression in melanomas can induce antitumoral immunity, and that CCL27 may suppress tumour growth probably due to the local lymphocyte recruitment.
Methods We studied CCL27 chemokine expression in three different concentric epidermal areas covering the primary cutaneous melanoma in patients with a long clinical follow-up. Our study included 91 cases of primary melanomas of the skin diagnosed during the 10-year period 1992–2002, and a minimum clinical follow-up of 10 years.
Results We evaluated three different concentric and easily reproducible areas in the epidermis: the area covering melanoma (which we called ‘supratumoral’), the area adjacent to the tumour (‘peritumoral’) and the most peripheral epidermal area (‘peripheral’). Only CCL27 expression in supratumoral epidermis correlated with clinical outcome.
Conclusions Our study showed that a higher immunostaining of CCL27 in supratumoral epidermis is associated with longer progression-free interval and melanoma-specific survival.