Tyrosinase Expression as a Molecular Marker for Investigating the Presence of Circulating Tumor Cells in Melanoma Patients
In 1991, Reverse Transcriptase – Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) was introduced to assess the expression of Tyrosinase in the peripheral blood of melanoma patients, in order to identify the presence of Circulating Melanoma Cells. To date, hundreds of studies, some of which are reviewed here, were performed to assess the clinical value of tyrosinase expression alone, and/or, in addition to other molecular markers. Unfortunately no consensus on the utility of tyrosinase detection exists. In this paper, we underline the presence of too many variables that may interfere with the detection of circulating melanoma cells: from withdrawal and RNA extraction, to Reverse Transcriptase – Polymerase Chain Reaction and the assays used for the analysis of amplification products.
Keywords: Tyrosinase, melanoma, RT-PCR, peripheral blood
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