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D J Blom, G P Luyten, C Mooy, S Kerkvliet, A H Zwinderman, M J Jager; Human leukocyte antigen class I expression. Marker of poor prognosis in uveal melanoma.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1997;38(9):1865-1872.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
PURPOSE: Because the expression of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) antigens is important for immunologic recognition of tumor cells, we determined expression of locus-specific HLA class I antigens in uveal melanoma and tested whether the level of HLA expression was related to prognosis or associated with known prognostic parameters. METHODS: Expression of HLA-A and -B antigens was determined on 30 formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded sections of uveal melanoma by immunohistochemistry with locus-specific monoclonal antibodies and scored semiquantitatively. RESULTS: The level of expression of HLA-A and -B varied between uveal melanomas. Expression levels of HLA-A and -B were significantly correlated (P = 0.02). High HLA-B expression was significantly correlated with the presence of epithelioid cells (P = 0.04) in the tumor. Expression levels of HLA-A as well as of HLA-B, cell type, mitotic rate, Mib-1 score, and largest tumor diameter were significant predictive factors for survival. High expression of HLA-A and -B was associated with a decreased survival. Multiple Cox regression analysis with stepwise selection of covariates showed that the contribution of HLA-A expression to survival (P = 0.0003) exceeded that of tumor diameter (P = 0.02) and Mib-1 score (P = 0.04). CONCLUSIONS: Lack of expression of HLA-A as well as of HLA-B antigens on uveal melanoma is correlated with a better patient survival. Our data suggest that shedding of uveal melanoma micrometastases with a low expression of HLA class I into the systemic circulation may facilitate their removal and prevent the development of metastases. These findings support a protective role for natural killer cells in the development of metastatic disease in uveal melanoma.
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