Seventeen samples of sera from patients with malignant cutaneous melanoma at various stages and 14 samples from healthy subjects were analysed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry. Results highlighted the presence of several protein species at molecular weights lower than 30000 Da, presumably originating from proteolysis, in the sera of the patients with melanoma. These species were completely absent in healthy subjects. In particular, the presence and abundance of species with molecular weights in the range 2500-3500 Da exhibit significant variations related to the different clinical stages of the disease.
Copyright 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.