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Oncology. 1983;40(4):263-7.

Serial determination of serum ferritin levels in patients with malignant melanoma.


In a pilot study, serum ferritin levels of patients with malignant melanoma were found to be increased in stage III of the disease. Therefore, serial determinations were carried out up to 24 months in patients at various stages of the disease undergoing either chemo- or immunotherapy. Serum ferritin was determined by a two-site IRMA technique. Serum samples of 91 patients in different clinical stages of histologically verified malignant melanoma were included in these investigations. 80 healthy individuals were also investigated to determine normal ranges of serum ferritin. In stage III serum ferritin levels were significantly elevated (p less than 0,0005), whereas in stages I and II the values were within the normal range. Repeated serum ferritin levels of 10 patients in stage I and 13 patients in stages II and III without evidence of tumor progression were within the normal range. In 9 patients in stage III the increases in serum ferritin concentration correlated with the degree of dissemination of metastasis. Because of the occurrence of increased ferritin levels only in melanoma patients with progressive metastatic disease, the measurement of serum ferritin might have limited utility in clinical evaluation of melanoma patients as well as in the prediction of recurrence and in monitoring response to therapy.

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