method for determining the prognosis and/or staging of a melanoma

The invention relates to an in vitro or ex-vivo method for determining the prognosis and/or staging of a melanoma in a subject

Title of the patent method for determining the prognosis and/or staging of a melanoma
Thematic area Biomedical
Ownership Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna
Inventors Emi Dika, Manuela Ferracin, Mattia Riefolo
Protection Italy (opportunity for seeking international patent protection)
Licensing status Available for licensing agreement
Keywords Melanoma, breslow thickness, staging, prognosis, Laboratory test, microRNA
Filed on Oct 03, 2018

In the last 40 years several parameters or diagnostic histopathological/immunohistochemical methods have been proposed in the determination of melanoma prognosis, but the most predictive parameter is still the Breslow thickness proposed in 1970. The definition of Breslow thickness is essential for the accurate determination of the diagnosis, management and prognosis of melanoma patients. However, there are conditions where it is impossible to determine the exact Breslow thickness. Nowadays there are no alternative or similar methods or patents that would describe the method of this invention that could be utilized in case of failure of conventional methods

MicroRNAs are small RNA molecules with regulatory function that are altered in several pathological conditions, including melanoma. The inventors  have developed and tested a method based on the quantification of specific human microRNAs for the assessment of melanoma prognosis based on the correlation with Breslow’s thickness, a measure of melanoma depth. The quantification of these microRNAs could be used as a new molecular diagnostic parameter of melanoma prognosis in substitution or alternative of the currently available methods.

Nowadays there are no alternative or similar methods or patents that describe the method of this invention that could be utilized in case of failure of conventional methods. The proposed method can be applied on the same specimens/material of the routinary diagnostics in melanoma, though using a lower number of molecular markers allowing a reduction of costs and timing. This molecular method can be performed by any operator in the diagnostic lab, not requiring specific medical expertise or personal skills for the interpretation, as it is with melanoma depth determination.