Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Role of tyrosinase RT-PCR in staging of patients with malignant melanoma

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
3.04.00  Medical sciences  Oncology   

Code Science Field
B520  Biomedical sciences  General pathology, pathological anatomy 
B200  Biomedical sciences  Cytology, oncology, cancerology 
malignant melanoma, tyrosinase, RT-PCR
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (14)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  10330  PhD Nikola Bešić  Oncology  Researcher  2002 - 2004  468 
2.  14441  MSc Darja Eržen  Oncology  Researcher  2002 - 2004  82 
3.  02686  PhD Rastko Golouh  Oncology  Researcher  2002 - 2004  364 
4.  21745  MSc Kristijana Hertl  Oncology  Researcher  2002 - 2004  179 
5.  12023  PhD Marko Hočevar  Oncology  Head  2002 - 2004  469 
6.  21759  PhD Milena Kerin Povšič  Oncology  Researcher  2002 - 2004  69 
7.  15283  PhD Ira Koković  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2002 - 2004  42 
8.  05278  PhD Jurij Lindtner  Oncology  Researcher  2002 - 2004  163 
9.  04377  Tadeja Movrin-Stanovnik  Oncology  Researcher  2002 - 2003  31 
10.  13541  PhD Janja Ocvirk  Oncology  Researcher  2002 - 2004  819 
11.  20175  Miljeva Rener  Oncology  Researcher  2002 - 2004  73 
12.  08750  PhD Zvonimir Rudolf  Oncology  Researcher  2002 - 2004  257 
13.  12250  PhD Marko Snoj  Oncology  Researcher  2002 - 2004  195 
14.  19032  Barbara Vidergar - Kralj  Oncology  Researcher  2002 - 2004  89 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0302  Institute of Oncology Ljubljana  Ljubljana  5055733000  15,390 
Staging of patients with malignant melanoma (MM) is crucial to determine patients prognosis and plannig systemic adjuvant treatment. Conventional clinical techniques (x-rays, ultrasound, CT, liver and bichemical blood tests) can not differentiate betwen patients with micrometastases and bad prognosis and patients without micrometastases and excellent prognosis. With a molecular biological technique of reverse transcription and polimerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) it is possible to detect MM cells in periferial blood or tissues already at preclinical level. We are exploiting the fact that the tyrosinase gene is only expressed in normal and malignantly altered melanocytes. Tyrosinase is a key enzyme in melanin synthesis. Normally, melanocytes are not present in the peripheral blood circulation; therefore, the presence of tyrosinase mRNA in the peripheral blood is considered as a proof of MM cells.We isolate tyrosinase mRNA from lymph node tissue obtained by sentinel node biopsy or from peripheral venous blood sample. Objectives of our study are as follows: 1. to determine the feasibility of performing tyrosinase RT-PCR using lymph node samples or peripheral blood from patients with MM, 2. to determine the ability of tyrosinase RT-PCR to predict relapse of disease in these patients, and 3. to determine the correlation of positive tyrosinase RT-PCR results from peripheral blood with disease stage. The study will include patients with histologically proven MM stage II or III. In the patients with stage II, we will perform sentinel node biopsy and tyrosinase RT-PCR from lymph node tissue and from peripheral venous blood. In patients with stage III, tyrosinase RT-PCR will be performed only from peripheral venous blood. Before entering into the study, all patients will sign an informed consent. The decision about adjuvant treatment will be made according to the standard criteria at our institution regardless of the results of tyrosinase RT-PCR. The recruitment time will take 3 years and all the patients will be followed for at least 3 years after the inclusion of the last patient.
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