, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 8-13
Date: 05 Mar 2013

Immunohistochemical analysis of O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase in human melanoma in comparison with skin squamous cell carcinoma

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Alkylating agents, often used for chemotherapy in patients with melanoma, can produce O6-alkylguanine (O6AG) which is related to tumor cell killing after treatment with alkylating agents. O6AG is effectively eliminated by O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (O6MGMT) and its level is correlative to the resistance to alkylating agents. However, little is known about the relationship of O6MGMT to the characteristics of melanoma. This study investigated the expression of O6MGMT in 12 melanomas and compared it with that in 11 skin squamous cell cancers (SCCs) immunohistochemically to evaluate the O6MGMT activity in melanoma and its clinical significance. All of the SCC samples had high O6MGMT expression, while the expression of O6MGMT in melanoma was diverse and 4 out of 12 samples had no or extremely low O6MGMT activity. Out of 6 lesions obtained from metastasis, 4 had a high O6MGMT activity. Two out of 3 cases with a low O6MGMT activity in each primary lesion did not show any evidence of metastasis or local recurrence. The evaluation of O6MGMT activity in melanoma may, therefore, be useful to determine the characteristics of tumor in each melanoma case. In addition, the present study implies the possibility of selective cancer chemotherapy for melanoma in the near future.