About 1–2% of melanoma patients develop hypercalcemia. We report hypercalcemia without bone metastasis in a 46-year-old woman with advanced melanoma. The hypercalcemia was associated with elevated serum parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) levels. An even higher concentration (10 times the serum level) in pleural effusion caused by pleural metastases implied that the source of the increased circulating PTHrP was the melanoma. Immunohistochemical staining of paraffin sections, performed using a monoclonal antibody (9H7) against the peptide sequence 109–141 of human PTHrP, detected PTHrP in the cytoplasm and nucleoli of melanoma cells in an autopsy specimen but not in specimens from this patient prior to onset of hypercalcemia. Considering the evidence, it is very likely that PTHrP production by melanoma caused hypercalcemia in this patient.

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