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April 1992

Measurement of Eumelanin Precursor Metabolites in the Urine as a New Marker for Melanoma Metastases

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Dermatology and Cutaneous Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton.

Arch Dermatol. 1992;128(4):491-494. doi:10.1001/archderm.1992.01680140071005

• Background and Design.—  This article introduces a rapid high-performance liquid chromatographic assay to measure urinary pheomelanin and eumelanin metabolites, 5-S-cysteinyldopa and indoles, 5(6)-hydroxy-6(5)-methoxyindole-2carboxylic acid.

Results.—  Our high-performance liquid chromatographic study clearly showed (1) urine of melanoma patients with positive metastasis revealed significant amounts of 5-S-cysteinyldopa and indoles (5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid plus 6-hydroxy-5-methoxyindole-2-carboxylic acid) above 1 μmol/d and 2 μmol/d, respectively; and (2) in patients with metastasis-free melanoma these melanin metabolites might be excreted into the urine but always less than the two values cited above.

Conclusions.—  As there is a discrepancy regarding the specificity of 5-S-cysteinyldopa as a marker for estimation of melanoma metastasis, high-performance liquid chromatographic measurement of urinary indoles will provide an additional assay in the detection of melanoma metastasis from an early stage. Both melanoma markers were increased in the urine of patients with metastatic melanoma.(Arch Dermatol. 1992;128:491-494)