Validation of a 40-Gene Expression Profile Test to Predict Metastatic Risk in Localized High-Risk Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

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Current staging systems for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) have limited positive predictive value (PPV) for identifying patients who will experience metastasis.To develop and validate a gene expression profile (GEP) test for predicting risk for metastasis in localized, high-risk cSCC with the goal of improving risk-directed patient management.Archival formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded primary cSCC tissue and clinicopathologic data (n=586) were collected from 23 independent centers in a prospectively designed study. A GEP signature was developed using a discovery cohort (n=202) and validated in a separate, non-overlaping, independent cohort (n=324).A prognostic, 40-gene expression profile (40-GEP) test was developed and validated, stratifying high-risk cSCC patients into classes based on metastasis risk: Class 1 (low-risk), Class 2A (high-risk), and Class 2B (highest-risk). For the validation cohort, 3-year metastasis-free survival (MFS) rates were 91.4%, 80.6%, and 44.0%, respectively. A PPV of 60% was achieved for the highest-risk group (Class 2B), an improvement over staging systems; while negative predictive value, sensitivity, and specificity were comparable to staging systems.Potential understaging of cases could affect metastasis rate accuracy.The 40-GEP test is an independent predictor of metastatic risk that can complement current staging systems for patients with high-risk cSCC.

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