Prognostic significance of children with cutaneous melanoma: Implications for treatment.


Journal Article

8021 Background: The incidence of melanoma in pediatric patients, particularly teenagers, is increasing. Treatment strategies employed for adult patients with melanoma have been applied to pediatric populations with minimal data to support similar efficacy. We performed a matched-paired analysis to compare the prognosis of pediatric (≤19 yrs old) and adult melanoma patients. METHODS: Single institution, prospectively obtained melanoma database containing >14,000 records was queried for children ages 1-19 years treated for cutaneous melanoma. We identified 197 pediatric patients seen at our institute over the last 35 years. After excluding patients not seen within 4 months of initial diagnosis, 115 pediatric patients were matched to adults (age 20-70 years) chosen from the database by gender, stage, primary site and tumor characteristics (Clark level, Breslow thickness, and ulceration). Overall survival was compared between cohorts by the Kaplan-Meier method. RESULTS: For the pediatric patients, median age at diagnosis was 17.7 years (range 7-19 years). Patients were almost equally distributed between girls (47%) and boys. AJCC stage I and II disease at presentation was most common (73%), with stage III and IV occurring much less frequently (25% and 2%). Most pediatric patients had Clark level IV (37%) lesions; Clark level II (25%), III (25%), V (4%), and I (2%) lesions were less common. Breslow thickness ranged between <1.0mm (38%), 1.1-2.0mm (20%), 2.1-4.0mm (17%), and >4.1mm (12%). The two predominant histologic types were superficial spreading (52%) and nodular (22%) melanoma. 14% of the primary lesions were ulcerated. Rates of disease-free and overall survival were 75%± 4% and 84%± 4% at 5 years and 74%± 4% and 77%± 5% at 10 years, respectively, with a median follow up of 5.1 years (range 1-30 years). Matched pediatric and adult patients showed no difference in survival from time of initial diagnosis and stage of presentation (log rank p=0.24). CONCLUSIONS: Stage-specific survival in pediatric and adult melanoma patients is similar. In the absence of specific pediatric trials, standard treatment for children with melanoma should be consistent with that for adults. No significant financial relationships to disclose.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kavanagh, MA; Essner, R; Chen, SL; Wanek, LA; Scheri, RP; Morton, DL

Published Date

  • June 20, 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 24 / 18_suppl

Start / End Page

  • 8021 -

PubMed ID

  • 27955530

Pubmed Central ID

  • 27955530

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1527-7755


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States