Intratumoral and Peritumoral Mast Cells in Malignant Melanoma: An Immunohistochemical Study

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Pathology, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: The aim of the current study was to determine mast cell infiltration in malignant melanoma by immunohistochemistry method and its relationship with some of the cancer prognostic factors, including age, sex, and depth of the tumor. Materials and Methods: In this retrospective analytic cross-sectional study, paraffin-embedded tissue blocks of patients with cutaneous malignant melanoma who had undergone excisional biopsy were studied. Mast cells count in studied cases in different stages of the tumor depth was evaluated by mast cell tryptase immunohistochemistry method. Mast cells infiltration was evaluated both inside the tumor and peritumoral area. Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) was also determined. Distribution of intratumoral and peritumoral mast cells and TILs was compared in different stages tof tumor depth. Results: In this study, 51 cases with melanoma were studied. Mean ± standard deviation (SD) of intratumoral mast cells in stages 1, 2, and 3 was 9.4 ± 4.2, 10.8 ± 5.1, and 2.1 ± 2.3, respectively (P = 0.000). Mean ± SD of peritumoral mast cells in stages 1, 2 and 3 was 13.4 ± 2.4, 16.6 ± 2.4 and 8.2 ± 4.6, respectively (P = 0.000). There was a significant direct relationship between depth of the tumor and TIL (P = 0.000) and distribution of intratumoral (P = 0.000) and peritumoral mast cells (P = 0.000). Conclusion: Lower distribution of intratumoral and peritumoral mast cells and TILs in higher stages of tumor depth in malignant melanoma suggests a possible inhibitory effect of infiltrating mast cells and lymphocytes on the progression of this tumor.


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