Conflict of interest: none declared.
Serum epidermal growth factor receptor levels in patients with malignant melanoma
Article first published online: 12 FEB 2013
© The Author(s) CED © 2013 British Association of Dermatologists
Clinical and Experimental Dermatology
Volume 38, Issue 2, pages 172–177, March 2013
How to Cite
Kanemura, H., Fukushima, S., Yamashita, J., Jinnin, M., Sakai, K., Masuguchi, S., Aoi, J., Makino, T., Inoue, Y. and Ihn, H. (2013), Serum epidermal growth factor receptor levels in patients with malignant melanoma. Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, 38: 172–177. doi: 10.1111/ced.12022
- Issue published online: 12 FEB 2013
- Article first published online: 12 FEB 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 7 JUL 2012
- JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B). Grant Number: 23791280
- the National Cancer Center Research and Development Fund. Grant Number: 23-A-22
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is known to be abnormally expressed in many human carcinomas, suggesting that there may be an increase in serum EGFR levels in patients with malignant melanoma (MM) and that this might be a possible new tumour marker.
To assess whether serum EGFR levels might be a marker of MM.
Serum samples were obtained from 66 patients with MM and 12 healthy controls, and EGFR levels were measured by double-determinant ELISA.
Patients with in situ or stage I MM had significantly higher serum EGFR levels compared with healthy controls. Interestingly, serum EGFR levels decreased gradually with the stage of the tumour, being highest at stage I and lowest at stage IV. There was also a trend towards a reverse correlation between tumour thickness and serum EGFR levels. Moreover, a longitudinal study identified a trend for serum EGFR levels in patients with preoperative MM to decrease compared with patients with recurrent MM.
To our knowledge, this is the first report investigating the serum EGFR levels of patients with MM, and gives new insight into the relationship between EGFR and MM. We found that serum EGFR levels were significantly increased in patients with early-stage MM such as in situ and stage I tumours. Measurements of serum EGFR levels might be of clinical value in the detection of early-stage MM.