INTRODUCTION: Cutaneous melanoma (CM) is an aggressive skin cancer entity, causing most skin cancer-related deaths. Autoimmune disorders have been described as potential paraneoplastic complications. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the possibility of a combinatory paraneoplastic affection of the retina and cochlea in patients with CM.
METHODS: Sera samples from CM patients were used for indirect immunofluorescence on histological retinal and cochlear sections. Furthermore, the serum specimen of a patient with symptomatic affection of both organs was analyzed by multiplex ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) for various cytokines including CD163 (cluster of differentiation 163).
RESULTS: Eleven patients were diagnosed with CM. Autoantibodies against structures of the inner ear were confirmed in all patients who were tested positive for antiretinal antibodies as well. CD163 was significantly elevated in the double-symptomatic patient, who developed metastatic disease.
CONCLUSION: Paraneoplastic disease of CM can affect more than one organ and this affect may be correlated with the individual prognosis. Therefore, a thorough anamnesis is needed to avoid missing potential symptoms.