Melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer that is curable by surgical excision in the majority of cases, if detected at an early stage. To improve early stage melanoma detection, the development of a highly sensitive diagnostic test is of utmost importance. Here we aimed to identify antibodies to a panel of tumour associated antigens that can differentiate primary melanoma patients and healthy individuals. A total of 245 sera from primary melanoma patients and healthy volunteers were screened against a high-throughput microarray platform containing 1627 functional proteins. Following rigorous statistical analysis, we identified a combination of 10 autoantibody biomarkers that, as a panel, displays a sensitivity of 79%, specificity of 84% and an AUC of 0.828 for primary melanoma detection. This melanoma autoantibody signature may prove valuable for the development of a diagnostic blood test for routine population screening that, when used in conjunction with current melanoma diagnostic techniques, could improve the early diagnosis of this malignancy and ultimately decrease the mortality rate of patients.
Zaenker, P., Lo, J., Pearce, R., Cantwell, P., Cowell, L., Lee, M., … Ziman, M. (2018). A diagnostic autoantibody signature for primary cutaneous melanoma. Oncotarget, 9(55), 30539–30551. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.25669