Molecular and immunological associations of elevated serum lactate dehydrogenase in metastatic melanoma patients: A fresh look at an old biomarker

Cancer Med. 2020 Nov;9(22):8650-8661. doi: 10.1002/cam4.3474. Epub 2020 Oct 5.


Elevated serum lactate dehydrogenase (sLDH) is associated with poor clinical outcomes in patients with stage IV metastatic melanoma (MM). It is currently unknown if sLDH elevation correlates with distinct molecular, metabolic, or immune features of melanoma metastases. The identification of such features may identify rational therapeutic strategies for patients with elevated sLDH. Thus, we obtained sLDH levels for melanoma patients with metastases who had undergone molecular and/or immune profiling. Our analysis of multi-omics data from independent cohorts of melanoma metastases showed that elevated sLDH was not significantly associated with differences in immune cell infiltrate, point mutations, DNA copy number variations, promoter methylation, RNA expression, or protein expression in melanoma metastases. The only significant association observed for elevated sLDH was with the number of metastatic sites of disease. Our data support that sLDH correlates with disease burden, but not specific molecular or immunological phenotypes, in metastatic melanoma.

Keywords: melanoma; molecular profiling; serum lactate dehydrogenase; tumor immunity; tumor metabolism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Databases, Nucleic Acid
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / blood*
  • Melanoma / blood*
  • Melanoma / genetics
  • Melanoma / immunology
  • Melanoma / secondary
  • Prognosis
  • Skin Neoplasms / blood*
  • Skin Neoplasms / genetics
  • Skin Neoplasms / immunology
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Tissue Array Analysis
  • Up-Regulation


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase