Dr Gerald Saldanha

Dr Gerald SaldanhaConsultant Histopathologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer

Room 322
Level 3
Robert Kilpatrick Clinical Sciences Building
Leicester Royal Infirmary


Tel: +44 (0)116 252 3228
Email: gss4@le.ac.uk

Personal details

  • MB ChB (Leicester)
  • PhD (Leicester)
  • FRCPath
  • MRCP (UK)

Academic distinctions and national profile

  • National Specialist Dermatopathology (NSD) EQA Scheme Steering Committee



Caramel J, Papadogeorgakis E, Hill L, Browne GJ, Richard G, Wierinckx A,
Saldanha G, Osborne J, Hutchinson P, Tse G, Lachuer J, Puisieux A, Pringle JH,
Ansieau S, Tulchinsky E. A switch in the expression of embryonic EMT-inducers
drives the development of malignant melanoma. Cancer Cell. 2013 Oct
14;24(4):466-80. doi: 10.1016/j.ccr.2013.08.018. Epub 2013 Sep 26. PubMed PMID:

Shaheen B, Saldanha G, Calonje E, Johnston GA. Multiple clustered
dermatofibromas (fibrous histiocytomas): an atypical clinical variant of
dermatofibroma. Clin Exp Dermatol. 2014 Jan;39(1):88-90. doi: 10.1111/ced.12200.
Epub 2013 Sep 10. PubMed PMID: 24016104.

Moore DA, Saldanha G, Ehdode A, Potter L, Dyall L, Bury D, Pringle JH.
Accurate detection of copy number changes in DNA extracted from formalin-fixed,
paraffin-embedded melanoma tissue using duplex ratio tests. J Mol Diagn. 2013
Sep;15(5):687-94. doi: 10.1016/j.jmoldx.2013.04.008. Epub 2013 Jun 27. PubMed
PMID: 23810241.

Saldanha G, Potter L, Shendge P, Osborne J, Nicholson S, Yii N, Varma S, Aslam
MI, Elshaw S, Papadogeorgakis E, Pringle JH. Plasma microRNA-21 is associated
with tumor burden in cutaneous melanoma. J Invest Dermatol. 2013
May;133(5):1381-4. doi: 10.1038/jid.2012.477. Epub 2013 Jan 10. PubMed PMID:


Moore DA, Pringle JH, Saldanha GS. Prognostic tissue markers in melanoma.
Histopathology. 2012 Apr;60(5):679-89. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2559.2011.03910.x.
Epub 2011 Aug 22. Review. PubMed PMID: 21880059.


Da Forno PD, Saldanha GS. Molecular aspects of melanoma. Clin Lab Med. 2011
Jun;31(2):331-43. doi: 10.1016/j.cll.2011.03.010. Review. PubMed PMID: 21549246.

Saldanha G, Potter L, Dyall L, Bury D, Hathiari N, Ehdode A, Hollox E, Pringle
JH. Detection of copy number changes in DNA from formalin fixed paraffin embedded
tissues using paralogue ratio tests. Anal Chem. 2011 May 1;83(9):3484-92. doi:
10.1021/ac200153j. Epub 2011 Mar 30. PubMed PMID: 21449538.

Crichlow SM, Alexandroff AB, Simpson RC, Saldanha G, Walker S, Harman KE. Is
IgA antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody a marker for patients with erythema
elevatum diutinum? A further three cases demonstrating this association. Br J
Dermatol. 2011 Mar;164(3):675-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2010.10172.x. Epub 2011
Feb 3. PubMed PMID: 21143463.


Da Forno PD, Pringle JH, Fletcher A, Bamford M, Su L, Potter L, Saldanha G.
BRAF, NRAS and HRAS mutations in spitzoid tumours and their possible pathogenetic
significance. Br J Dermatol. 2009 Aug;161(2):364-72. doi:
10.1111/j.1365-2133.2009.09181.x. Epub 2009 Apr 29. PubMed PMID: 19438459.


Da Forno PD, Pringle JH, Hutchinson P, Osborn J, Huang Q, Potter L, Hancox
RA, Fletcher A, Saldanha GS. WNT5A expression increases during melanoma
progression and correlates with outcome. Clin Cancer Res. 2008 Sep
15;14(18):5825-32. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-07-5104. PubMed PMID: 18794093.

Da Forno PD, Fletcher A, Pringle JH, Saldanha GS. Understanding spitzoid
tumours: new insights from molecular pathology. Br J Dermatol. 2008
Jan;158(1):4-14. Epub 2007 Oct 4. Review. PubMed PMID: 17916202.


Macbeth AE, Kendall BR, Smith A, Saldanha G, Harman KE. Calcified
subcutaneous nodules: a long-term complication of interferon beta-1a therapy. Br
J Dermatol. 2007 Sep;157(3):624-5. Epub 2007 Jun 26. PubMed PMID: 17596164.


Saldanha G, Potter L, Daforno P, Pringle JH. Cutaneous melanoma subtypes show
different BRAF and NRAS mutation frequencies. Clin Cancer Res. 2006 Aug
1;12(15):4499-505. PubMed PMID: 16899595.


Mortimer NJ, Saldanha G, Harman KE. An unusual tender eruption. Clin Exp
Dermatol. 2005 Jan;30(1):103-4. PubMed PMID: 15663524.


Saldanha G, Ghura V, Potter L, Fletcher A. Nuclear beta-catenin in basal cell
carcinoma correlates with increased proliferation. Br J Dermatol. 2004
Jul;151(1):157-64. PubMed PMID: 15270885.


Melanocytes, which produce pigment in skin and elsewhere, can give rise to two broad categories of tumour, malignant melanoma (a type of cancer) and benign naevi (commonly known as "moles").

Malignant melanoma is a common malignancy and often arises in relatively young adults. As a practicing histopathologist my role is to examine skin tumours that have been surgically excised under the microscope. This is important in several ways.

Firstly, to diagnose if a pigmented skin lesion is a malignant melanoma or a mole. Secondly, in the case of malignant melanoma to determine how aggressively the tumour is likely to behave (i.e. provide a prognosis). Thirdly, to identify if any further therapy may be helpful.

A treatment that has recently emerged targets a mutation in a gene called BRAF, which is found in 50% of malignant melanomas, and this can be detected in the tissue sample.

My research aims to add value to what can be gleaned already from clinical tissue samples submitted for microscopic analysis by using identifying tissue biomarkers that might improve diagnosis, give better prognosis and predict who will respond to treatment more accurately.

To support these aims, I have assembled a database of approximately 2000 melanoma tissue samples from patients diagnosed in Leicester since 2004. The tissue samples are linked to clinical features, pathological features and outcome. Crucially, this means that tissue biomarkers can be assessed in the knowledge of important clinical and histological features and follow up data.

In addition, I am assembling a collection of blood samples from individuals with malignant melanoma to analyse circulating biomarkers. The main purpose behind the collection of these samples is to identify circulating biomarkers that better predict optimal therapy for malignant melanoma patients.

My currently focus is on the analysis of circulating nucleic acids to detect the emergence of genetic resistance to therapy targeted against cancer-specific mutations.

Current grants

  • University of Leicester Proof of Concept Fund, May 2014, “Predicting melanoma treatment using circulating free DNA”, £15,000
  • CR-UK, Science Committee - Biomarker Project Award, July 2014, “A Blood Test For Melanoma - Detection and Analysis of Tumour-Derived Circulating Free DNA by Deep Sequencing (The MELSEQ Study)”, £280,000


  • MD student: David Moore - 'Duplex ratio tests as diagnostic tissue biomarkers in malignant melanoma'

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Contact Details

Leicester Cancer Research Centre
Robert Kilpatrick Clinical Sciences Building
University of Leicester
Leicester Royal Infirmary
Leicester LE2 7LX

T: +44 (0) 116 252 3170
E: cancerstudies@le.ac.uk

(Please note this email address should not be used for clinical referrals or patient correspondence)

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