Replating efficiency of metastatic melanoma cells from lymph node and subcutaneous sites does not predict patient survival.
The efficiency of replating of cells from primary colonies grown in semisolid medium has been used to detect and quantitate self-renewal in vitro. A positive correlation has been found by others between the replating efficiency of cells from myelogenous leukemia and patient survival. In the current study we measured primary and secondary replating efficiency of metastatic melanoma cells from subcutaneous tissues or lymph nodes of twelve patients and related these results to patient survival from time of biopsy. No relationship was found between primary and secondary plating efficiency nor for primary or secondary replating efficiency and survival. These results suggest that colony-forming melanoma cells grown under anchorage-independent conditions do not identify a stem cell population important for survival distinct from highly proliferative cells. These studies do not, however, rule out the possibility that a non-clonogenic transitional cell population exists in the tumor.