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Melanoma Res. 1995 Oct;5(5):351-3.

Serum manganese superoxide dismutase is a new tumour marker for malignant melanoma.

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Virchow Clinics, Department of Dermatology, Humboldt Universit├Ąt zu Berlin.


Malignant melanoma in its disseminated stage is incurable. The most widely accepted criteria for the prognostic evaluation of melanoma are histopathological and clinical parameters, and the identification of additional simple, serological tumour markers is thus of paramount importance. Manganese-containing superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) belongs to a family of metalloproteins that catalyse the metabolization of oxygen radicals in order to protect these cells from radical damage. In patients with epithelial ovarian carcinomas, serum MnSOD levels have been shown to be elevated in accordance with the progression of their clinical disease. Recently, an overexpression of MnSOD was shown to suppress the malignant phenotype of human malignant melanoma cells. Therefore, we determined serum MnSOD concentrations in 33 patients with malignant melanoma at different clinical stages. Whereas MnSOD serum levels in normal subjects (n = 11) and in dermatological patients with type I allergies (n = 10) or chronic non-allergic urticaria (n = 7) were below 200 ng/ml, the MnSOD serum concentrations in melanoma patients were statistically elevated in all clinical stages compared with normal (p < 0.005). These data suggest that elevated MnSOD serum concentrations correspond to tumour load and correlate with progression of malignant melanoma. Measurement of MnSOD serum levels might therefore provide a sensitive tool for monitoring the clinical course of melanoma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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