WHAT IS MELANIN TEST?
Urine test to detect biochemical markers of melanoma progression. Melanin, which is the main pigment in the body, is synthesized by the melanocytes primarily in the skin and eyes. It is highly elevated in malignant melanoma. Both eumelanin (brown-black pigment) and pheomelanin (yellow-red pigment) are produced, with dihydroxyindole (DHI) and cysteinyldopa (CD) being the major precursors. Melanin metabolites are often released in the urine of clients with disseminated melanoma metastasis (melanuria). These metabolites include a pheomelanin metabolite, 5S-CD, and a eumelanin metabolite, 6-hydroxy-5-methoxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (6H5MI2C). Melanogenic, a colourless precursor of melanin, is also excreted in the urine of 25% of people with melanin-producing tumours.