Purpose: To investigate whether we can identify different patterns of inflammation in the aqueous humor of a uveal melanoma (UM)-containing eye, and whether these are related to prognosis. Methods: Ninety samples of aqueous humor from UM-containing eyes were analyzed using a high-throughput multiplex immunoassay that enables simultaneous analysis of 92 predefined protein biomarkers. Cytokine expression was compared to clinical and histopathological characteristics. Cluster analysis was performed, after which the clusters were compared with clinical and histopathological tumor characteristics. Results: Cluster analysis revealed three distinct clusters, with one cluster showing hardly any inflammatory cytokines, one showing intermediate levels, and one showing a high expression of inflammation-related biomarkers. Significant differences between the clusters were seen with regard to patient age (P = 0.008), tumor prominence (P = 0.001), ciliary body involvement (P < 0.001), American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) stage (P < 0.001), monosomy of chromosome 3 (P = 0.03), and gain of chromosome 8q (P = 0.04), with the cluster with a highest cytokine expression having the worst prognostic markers. Especially apoptosis-related cytokines were differentially expressed. Conclusions: Analysis of cytokines in the aqueous humor shows distinct differences between aqueous humor samples and allocates these samples into three different prognostic tumor clusters. Especially large tumors with ciliary body involvement and monosomy 3 were associated with many cytokines, especially apoptosis-related cytokines. The presence of these cytokines in the aqueous humor may play a role in the lack of effective antitumor immune responses.

Additional Metadata
Keywords uveal melanoma, aqueous humor, liquid biopsy, cytokines, immunotherapy
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1167/iovs.19-28309, hdl.handle.net/1765/121681
Journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science
Citation
Wierenga, A.P.A. (Annemijn P A), Cao, J. (Jinfeng), Mouthaan, H. (Henk), van Weeghel, C. (Christiaan), Verdijk, R.M, van Duinen, S.G, … Jager, M.J. (2019). Aqueous Humor Biomarkers Identify Three Prognostic Groups in Uveal Melanoma. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 60(14), 4740–4747. doi:10.1167/iovs.19-28309