Tracing Dissemination of Melanoma Cells in Healthy Tissues

Study Purpose

The objective of this project is to evaluate the presence of melanoma quiescent or initiating clonal cells in peritumoral healthy tissue displaying the same molecular signature than those of the tumor/metastasis and to correlate this presence to the prognostic value.

Recruitment Criteria

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Healthy volunteers are participants who do not have a disease or condition, or related conditions or symptoms

Study Type

An interventional clinical study is where participants are assigned to receive one or more interventions (or no intervention) so that researchers can evaluate the effects of the interventions on biomedical or health-related outcomes.

An observational clinical study is where participants identified as belonging to study groups are assessed for biomedical or health outcomes.

Searching Both is inclusive of interventional and observational studies.

Eligible Ages 18 Years and Over
Gender All
More Inclusion & Exclusion Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • - Men and women age > 18 years old.
  • - Primary melanomas stage Ib and II.
  • - Melanomas mutated BRAF, NRAS, c-kit.
  • - Cutaneous melanomas.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • - Metastatic melanomas stage III and IV.
  • - Melanomas with invasion of the peritumoral skin tissue.
  • - Congenital or acquired immunosuppression.
  • - Antitumoral, immunosuppressive treatments or any other diseases during the follow up.

Trial Details

Trial ID:

This trial id was obtained from, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, providing information on publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants with locations in all 50 States and in 196 countries.


Phase 1: Studies that emphasize safety and how the drug is metabolized and excreted in humans.

Phase 2: Studies that gather preliminary data on effectiveness (whether the drug works in people who have a certain disease or condition) and additional safety data.

Phase 3: Studies that gather more information about safety and effectiveness by studying different populations and different dosages and by using the drug in combination with other drugs.

Phase 4: Studies occurring after FDA has approved a drug for marketing, efficacy, or optimal use.

Lead Sponsor

The sponsor is the organization or person who oversees the clinical study and is responsible for analyzing the study data.

Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris
Principal Investigator

The person who is responsible for the scientific and technical direction of the entire clinical study.

Romain Fontaine, PhD
Principal Investigator Affiliation INSERM - UMRS 938
Agency Class

Category of organization(s) involved as sponsor (and collaborator) supporting the trial.

Overall Status Recruiting
Countries France

The disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury that is being studied.

Additional Details

In the western world, melanoma incidence has constantly risen for the last 50 years, and it is currently reported as the most frequent tumor in 20

  • - 29 year old women.
BRAF, NRAS and c-kit genes play an important role in cell proliferation and are mutated at very high frequency in melanoma. Despite the recent therapeutical breakthroughs obtained with the use of new drugs, metastatic melanoma remains still a life threatening disease. One of the main questions in melanoma concern the initial steps leading to metastatic spread, a better understanding being a key step to its prevention and the identification of new molecular mechanisms being implemental to the improvement of our therapeutical arsenal. The proposed work aims to study the hypothesis of early spread in human melanoma using the recently developed powerful techniques of e-ice cold PCR, as well as classical immunohistochemistry. To do so, investigators will take advantage on the fact that treatment of melanoma relies on a secondary excision of normal peritumoral skin and sentinel lymph node. This peritumoral tissue is large (measuring 2 to 6 cm diameter), contains lymphatics in the hypodermis, the tissue considered to host the metastatic route of melanocytes and remains partially available for analysis. All patients with stage Ib and II melanoma followed in the parisian cohort Melan-cohort, Cochin Hospital and Gustave Roussy Institute included between 2005 and 2009 will be found. A PCR analysis will be done on DNA extracted from paraffin embedded sections of primary tumors. Patients who display mutations in BRAF (BRAFV600E, BRAFV600K), NRAS (codon 61) or c-kit genes will be selected. The archival paraffin embedded tissues from healthy perilesional skin as well as from healthy sentinel lymph nodes will be obtained. Pyrosequencing and e-ice cold PCR targeting the mutations of the above genes at their usual positions will be done on DNA extracted from these specimens. Immunofluorescence anti-BRAFV600E or anti tumoral/initiating/stem cells will be done on same tissues. These simple techniques will test -using a sensitive molecular biology tool- whether in humans with melanomas, there is early dissemination of melanoma cells in histopathological healthy sentinel lymph node and peritumoral skin. The presence of these clonal cells in these healthy tissues will be correlated to the survival of the patients after 5 years and will allow the development of new therapeutic follow-up and strategies.

Arms & Interventions


: Patients with stage Ib and II melanoma

Melanoma and peritumoral skin excision


Procedure: - Melanoma and peritumoral skin excision

Surgical retrieval of the primary tumor and safety retrieval of the surrounding normal peritumoral skin and sentinel lymph node

Contact a Trial Team

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International Sites

Paris, France




Name:: INSERM - UMRS 938, UPMC Saint-Antoinen Hospital, Team "Stem cells and transition from pre-invasive tumors"

Paris, , 75012

Site Contact

Romain Fontaine, PhD


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