What is the role of lab testing in cutaneous melanoma staging?

Updated: Oct 13, 2020
  • Author: Susan M Swetter, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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While abnormal laboratory test results are rarely the sole indicator of metastatic disease, serum LDH levels were incorporated into the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) 2002 melanoma staging guidelines for the classification of stage IV (distant) disease. Elevated LDH levels are associated with worse survival in this subgroup and remain a powerful predictor of survival in the 2009 AJCC Cancer Staging Manual (7th ed) for melanoma of the skin. Serum S-100 protein levels may also be useful as a tumor marker in patients with metastatic disease, but this practice is not widely used in the United States. [64]

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