Background: Melanoma is an aggressive malignancy and its increasing incidence worldwide
has boosted interest in biomarker discovery in blood to monitor melanoma development, therapy
efficacy, and to find new therapy targets. Our study aimed to discover candidate protein biomarkers
that could have a double role, differentiate between melanoma patients and controls and distinguish
patients with good clinical outcomes from patients with unfavorable one.
Method: Melanoma patients in stages I-IV were followed-up for 5 years in specialized dermatology
centers in southern Romania, from the years 2007 to 2015. Blood samples were drawn at diagnosis
and at the time when the clinical outcome could be scored by the clinician as unfavorable or good. In
order to obtain the best peptidic pattern of plasma, samples were fractionated using ProteoMinerTM
Bead library and after fractionation subjected to SELDI-TOF-MS (surface-enhanced laser desorption/
ionization (SELDI) technology used with time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometers) analysis.
Results: Nine peaks (p-values <0.01) in the peptide (mass) range were found up-regulated in melanoma
patients. We found 3 peaks whose apparent relative abundances decreased in > 80% of patients
with good outcomes, which was consistent with reverting to a proteomic profile more similar to controls.
Conclusion: Mass spectrometry analysis of plasma can provide validated markers in development
and treatment of cutaneous melanoma.