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Br J Cancer. 1998 Jun;77(12):2210-4.

The luminescence immunoassay S-100: a sensitive test to measure circulating S-100B: its prognostic value in malignant melanoma.

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Department of Clinical Chemistry, The Netherlands Cancer Institute (Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Huis), Amsterdam.


In this study we measured S-100B using a recently developed luminometric immunoassay with a detection limit of 0.02 microg l(-1). By measuring serum S-100B concentrations in 58 apparently healthy individuals a reference value of 0.16 microg l(-1) was found. To assess the sensitivity of the assay we measured levels of S-100B protein in the serum of 251 patients with cutaneous malignant melanoma before the start of treatment. Only one of 179 patients with limited disease had a serum concentration higher than the reference value, whereas elevated levels were seen in 79% of patients with metastasized disease. In the latter group the NSE serum concentration was elevated in 42%. Using a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve it is shown that S-100B is a significantly better parameter than neuron-specific enolase (NSE) for distinguishing patients with limited disease from those with extensive melanoma. Pretreatment S-100B values were highly predictive for the period of survival. Patients with limited disease have increased risk for early death with increasing levels of S-100B protein. Within the group of patients with positive lymph nodes and/or with distant metastases, elevated S-100B levels strongly identified high-risk patients. Our study indicates that the measurement of S-100B as a tumour marker in the management of patients with cutaneous malignant melanoma has clinical significance.

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