Development of a novel noninvasive adhesive patch test for the evaluation of pigmented lesions of the skin

Pedram Gerami*, John P. Alsobrook, Tara J. Palmer, Howard S. Robin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Background The accurate clinical assessment of melanocytic neoplasms is a challenge for clinicians. Currently, obtaining a biopsy specimen and conducting a histologic examination is the standard of care. The incidence of melanoma in white populations is high, resulting in a large number of biopsy specimens. Objective The objective of this study is to develop a noninvasive genomic method using mRNA to classify pigmented skin lesions as either benign or malignant. Methods An adhesive patch method was used to obtain cells from the surface of melanocytic lesions. mRNA was extracted and a genomic signature was formulated in a training set of benign and malignant melanocytic neoplasms and subsequently tested in a validation set. Results A 2-gene signature assessing the expression levels of CMIP and LINC00518 was able to differentiate melanomas from nevi in an independent validation set of 42 melanomas and 22 nevi with a sensitivity of 97.6% and specificity of 72.7%. Limitations Larger and more diverse sets of melanomas and nevi are needed for additional validation of the molecular expression profiling in various subsets of melanocytic neoplasms. Conclusion Our data suggest that mRNA molecular signatures can serve as a highly useful noninvasive method of differentiating melanoma from nevi and decrease the number of unnecessary biopsies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-244
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • dysplastic nevi
  • melanocytic neoplasms
  • melanoma
  • molecular signatures
  • nevi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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