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April 1983

Detection of Melanomas: Approach With Radiolabeled False Precursors of Melanin Synthesis

Author Affiliations

Alan Chalom

From the Section of Dermatology, University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, Tucson.

Arch Dermatol. 1983;119(4):295-299. doi:10.1001/archderm.1983.01650280023009

• Thiouracil is a thiol-containing pyrimidine that is selectively incorporated into cells that synthesize melanin. In an effort to delineate further the specificity and dynamics of uptake, we injected thiouracil labeled with radioactive carbon into S91 melanoma-bearing mice; biopsy specimens were taken of the tumors and organs at various time intervals thereafter. The data showed a substantial uptake of thiouracil by the melanomas, with peak uptake occurring at 24 hours. All other organs examined showed only minor amounts of radioactivity, which probably reflected the presence of thiouracil in the blood perfusing these tissues. Because of its incorporation into melanomas, the use of radioactive thiouracil has potential as a marker for tumor growth, as a diagnostic tracer compound, and as a carrier for chemotherapeutic agents.

(Arch Dermatol 1983;119:295-299)