Research Papers:

SERPINB1 expression is predictive for sensitivity and outcome of cisplatin-based chemotherapy in melanoma

Christoph Willmes, Rajiv Kumar, Jürgen C. Becker, Isabella Fried, P. Sivaramakrishna Rachakonda, Lidia M. Poppe, Sonja Hesbacher, Dirk Schadendorf, Antje Sucker, David Schrama and Selma Ugurel _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:10117-10132. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.6956

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Christoph Willmes1, Rajiv Kumar2, Jürgen C. Becker3,4, Isabella Fried5, P. Sivaramakrishna Rachakonda2, Lidia M. Poppe1, Sonja Hesbacher1, Dirk Schadendorf4, Antje Sucker4, David Schrama1,*, Selma Ugurel1,4,*

1Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany

2Division of Molecular Genetic Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany

3Translational Skin Cancer Research, Deutsches Konsortium für Translationale Krebsforschung (DKTK), Essen, Germany

4Department of Dermatology, University Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

5Department of Dermatology, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Selma Ugurel, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: melanoma, SERPINB1, cisplatin, chemotherapy, predictive marker

Received: April 10, 2015     Accepted: December 26, 2015     Published: January 20, 2016


Despite of highly effective new therapeutic strategies, chemotherapy still is an important treatment option in metastatic melanoma. Since predictors of chemotherapy response are rare, drugs and regimens are currently chosen arbitrarily. The present study was aimed at the identification of molecular markers predicting the outcome of chemotherapy in melanoma. Tumor biopsies from metastatic lesions were collected from 203 stage IV melanoma patients prior to chemotherapy onset and used for gene expression profiling (n = 6; marker identification set), quantitative real-time PCR (n = 127; validation set 1), and immunohistochemistry on tissue microarrays (n = 70; validation set 2). The results were correlated to the tumors’ in-vitro chemosensitivity and to the patients’ in-vivo chemotherapy outcome. SERPINB1 was found to correlate to the in-vitro sensitivity to cisplatin-containing chemotherapy regimens (p = 0.005). High SERPINB1 gene expression was associated with favorable tumor response (p = 0.012) and prolonged survival (p = 0.081) under cisplatin-based chemotherapy. High SERPINB1 protein expression in tumor tissue from cisplatin-treated patients was associated with a favorable survival (p = 0.011), and proved as an independent predictor of survival (p = 0.008) by multivariate analysis. We conclude, that SERPINB1 expression, although not functionally involved, is predictive for the outcome of cisplatin-based chemotherapy in melanoma, and thus may be useful to personalize melanoma chemotherapy.

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