Clinical Utility of Dermoscopy and 31-Gene Expression Profiling by Dermatology Providers in Melanoma Management Care

Alexander Witkowski, Claudia Lee, Emile Latour, John Vetto, Joanna Ludzik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: A 31-gene expression profile (31-GEP) test that predicts metastatic risk in patients with cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) has previously been validated and is available for clinical use. The test dichotomizes patients into lower risk and higher risk groups based on differences that correspond to unique genetic expression patterns. Although the impact of such a test on dermatology providers' clinical decision-making has been studied, little is known about whether there exists an association between certain clinical features, such as dermoscopy, and 31-GEP results. METHODS: In this retrospective analysis of 31-GEP test results ordered by dermatologists, we evaluated the frequency of dermoscopic features, using a modified dermoscopy three-point checklist, in 17 cases (n=17) and compared these findings to other key clinicopathologic features including tumor thickness, ulceration, and mitotic rate to 31-GEP results. Additionally, we evaluated the dermatologist's perspective and incorporation of GEP testing as part of patient discussion on melanoma management. RESULTS: 31-GEP stratified patients into 4 groups; groups 1A and 1B are considered low risk of metastasis or recurrence, while 2A and 2B are considered high risk. Of the 17 cases, we had fifteen group 1A (88.23%), one 1B (5.88%), and one 2B (5.88%) result. Overall frequency of dermoscopic features is as follows; 100% of lesions presented with asymmetry, 47% with round structures, and 70.6% with blue-white color. The average time providers spent explaining and ordering the test was 15 minutes, with a range of 10 to 20 minutes. CONCLUSIONS: This study represents our experience and understanding of the dermatologist’s role ordering 31-GEP in the care pathway of melanoma patients and we recommend that dermatology providers consider ordering the test for newly diagnosed CMM patients. J Drugs Dermatol. 2022;21(12): doi:10.36849/JDD.6889.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1347-1352
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of drugs in dermatology : JDD
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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