Tumor Biology

, Volume 37, Issue 8, pp 10753–10761 | Cite as

Correlation of TGF-β1 and oxidative stress in the blood of patients with melanoma: a clue to understanding melanoma progression?

  • Sara Santos Bernardes
  • Fernando Pinheiro de Souza-Neto
  • Gabriella Pasqual Melo
  • Flávia Alessandra Guarnier
  • Poliana Camila Marinello
  • Rubens Cecchini
  • Alessandra L. Cecchini
Original Article


TGF-β1 and oxidative stress are involved in cancer progression, but in melanoma, their role is still controversial. Our aim was to correlate plasma TGF-β1 levels and systemic oxidative stress biomarkers in patients with melanoma, with or without disease metastasis, to understand their participation in melanoma progression. Thirty patients were recruited for melanoma surveillance, together with 30 healthy volunteers. Patients were divided into two groups: Non-metastasis, comprising patients with tumor removal and no metastatic episode for 3 years; and Metastasis, comprising patients with a metastatic episode. The plasmatic cytokines TGF-β1, IL-1 β, and TNF-α were analyzed by ELISA. For oxidative stress, the following assays were performed: malondialdehyde (MDA), advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP) levels, total radical-trapping antioxidant parameter (TRAP) and thiol in plasma, and lipid peroxidation, SOD and catalase activity and GSH in erythrocytes. Patients with a metastatic episode had less circulating TGF-β1 and increased TRAP, thiol, AOPP and lipid peroxidation levels. MDA was increased in both melanoma groups, while catalase, GSH, and IL-1β was decreased in Non-metastasis patients. Significant negative correlations were observed between TGF-β1 levels and systemic MDA, and TGF-β1 levels and systemic AOPP, while a positive correlation was observed between TGF-β1 levels and erythrocyte GSH. Lower levels of TGF-β1 were related to increased oxidative stress in Metastasis patients, reinforcing new evidence that in melanoma TGF-β1 acts as a tumor suppressor, inhibiting tumor relapse. These findings provide new knowledge concerning this cancer pathophysiology, extending the possibilities of investigating new therapies based on this evidence.


Melanoma Transforming growth factor beta Oxidative stress Neoplasm recurrence Malondialdehyde 



The authors are grateful to J.A. Vargas and P. S. R. D. Filho for their excellent technical assistance and E. C. B. Carmelo of the Department of Clinical Research of the Londrina Cancer Hospital for her important assistance in patient recruitment and interview. The authors would also like to thank physicians M. A. Buges and C. Z. Campos for allowing their patients to participate in the study. The authors also thank the Araucária Foundation for providing financial support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara Santos Bernardes
    • 1
  • Fernando Pinheiro de Souza-Neto
    • 1
  • Gabriella Pasqual Melo
    • 1
  • Flávia Alessandra Guarnier
    • 2
  • Poliana Camila Marinello
    • 1
  • Rubens Cecchini
    • 3
  • Alessandra L. Cecchini
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Molecular PathologyLondrina State University (UEL)LondrinaBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratory of the Pathophysiology of Muscle AdaptationsLondrina State University (UEL)LondrinaBrazil
  3. 3.Laboratory of Pathophysiology and Free RadicalsLondrina State University (UEL)LondrinaBrazil

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