Increased serum sialic acid, which originates from glycoproteins of the cell surfaces and membranes, is long time known as a nonspecific marker of malignant diseases. We have tried to proof if the estimation of sialic acid concentration in serum of melanoma patient can be useful as a monitor of malignant melanoma already before the surgery of primary tumour.
Sialic acid was measured according to the method described by Warren. Sialic acid concentration has been estimated in 60 healthy persons and in 120 melanoma patients, before the surgery of the primary lesion. The results have been compared with clinical diagnosis as well as with the histological grading of the primary tumour. It has been found a good correlation in the frequency of an increased sialic acid concentration and the depth of invasion of the primary tumour. Increased sialic acid concentration has also been found nearly in 40 % of patients already in the first stage of the disease. From this point of view, the estimation of sialic acid before the surgery of the primary lesion should serve as a monitor for the evaluation of prognosis of the disease.