This work was conducted to find out new potential serum markers and study their role as predictive factors in patients with metastatic melanoma. Serum samples from 68 patients with stage IV malignant melanoma were collected just before current treatment and screened for 79 different cytokines by using a multi-cytokine array. Angiogenin, which is a protein capable of promoting angiogenesis, was found to be markedly elevated among a sub-group of patients with progressive disease (PD) and thus was subjected to further analysis. The mean serum angiogenin level was 270 ng/ml and the median 236 ng/ml (STD 163 ng/ml). Concentrations were significantly higher among men than in women (P = 0.031), whereas patient's age, site of the primary tumour, Clark's or Breslow's classifications were not associated with angiogenin levels. Patients with only lymph node metastases had markedly lower angiogenin levels than those with metastases at other sites (P = 0.05). High angiogenin levels were significantly (P = 0.015; Kruskal-Wallis) associated with poor treatment response with chemoimmunotherapy. Treatment-related survival (TRS) was shorter (10 months) in patients with above-median values than in those with below-median levels (19 months, P = NS). Cox multivariate regression model was used to control for the confounding by the classical prognostic factors of melanoma (age, sex, disease burden, performance score, site of metastases). Disease burden was the only variable that remained in the model as a significant independent predictor of TRS (P = 0.044). These data suggest that serum angiogenin levels might be of predictive value in the evaluation of treatment response for patients with stage IV melanoma.