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Oncology. 1999;56(4):338-44.

S100B protein detection in serum is a significant prognostic factor in metastatic melanoma.

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Department of Dermatology, University Hospital of Kiel, Germany.


The serum detection of S100B, a new melanoma marker, has shown clinical significance in early studies. The aim of our study of 1, 339 serum samples from 412 different melanoma patients and 107 control patients was to prove the prognostic value of serum S100B levels in melanoma patients at different stages of disease and at follow-up (median: 30 months). Using a cutoff level of 0.2 microgram/l S100B, 5 of 286 patients (1.7%) with primary tumors (stage I/II), 14/73 (19.2%) patients with locoregional metastasis (stage III) and 57/84 (67.9%) patients with advanced disease (stage IV) were S100B positive (statistically significant differences for stage I/II vs. III, I/II vs. IV, and III vs. IV, p < 0.001). The estimated overall survival time was significantly longer (p < 0.001) for patients with S100B values below 0.2 microgram/l compared to patients with elevated S100B levels (>/=0.2 microgram/l), which was independent of the stage of disease (I-IV). Regarding prognosis, we were furthermore able to distinguish different subgroups among stage III and IV patients using S100B serum levels (p < 0.01). Patients with different cutaneous non-melanoma diseases served as S100B-negative controls. S100B serum evaluations using the Sangtec(R)100 IRMA are highly specific and sensitive for the detection of metastatic melanoma. S100B has been shown to be a relevant prognostic factor for survival in a study with a large sample size of melanoma patients including close follow-up evaluations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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