In order to determine whether imatinib mesylate (Gleevec), a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that binds the CD-117 (c-kit) receptor, may be of value in the treatment of malignant melanoma, an immunohistochemical analysis of 40 cases of primary and metastatic melanoma was undertaken. Thirty-five of the 40 cases showed 1+ or stronger labelling for CD-117 (up to a maximum of 4+). Three patients with neoplasms showing 4+ staining were selected for imatinib therapy. None responded. c-kit (CD-117) expression in melanoma appears to be common; however, the value of imatinib therapy remains to be proven.
aThe Arkadi M. Rywlin M.D. Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
bThe Comprehensive Cancer Center, Mount Sinai Medical Center of Greater Miami and The University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA
Correspondence and requests for reprints to Dr Antonio E. Martinez, The Arkadi M. Rywlin M.D. Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Mount Sinai Medical Center of Greater Miami and The University of Miami School of Medicine, 4300 Alton Road, Blum Bldg, RM 201, Miami Beach, FL 33140 Miami, FL, USA
Tel: +1 305 674 2277; fax: +1 305 674 2999;
Received 9 January 2004 Accepted (after revision) 25 October 2004