Exploring the Diverse Outcomes Associated With Pediatric Melanoma Subtypes

Source: Dermatology Advisor, January 2024

The different variants of pediatric melanoma result in a wide array of presentations and disease outcomes, with the highest overall survival and recurrence rates associated with in-situ melanoma, according to study findings published in the Journal of American Academic Dermatology.

Investigators conducted a retrospective study that included 317 patients aged 20 years or younger. These patients were diagnosed with cutaneous melanoma between January 1995 and June 2015 and were recruited by dermatologists affiliated with the Pediatric Dermatology Research Alliance across 11 academic medical centers. Patients with atypical spitz tumors and ambiguous tumors were excluded. The current study included a secondary control group of 317 matched patients without history of melanoma or nonmelanoma skin cancer (matched by sex [60% girls] and age at time of melanoma diagnosis).

Of patients with available data, 85% of 225 patients were White, 24 of 281 patients had a family history of melanoma, 15 of 253 had a family history of nonmelanoma skin cancer, 13 of 95 reported using tanning beds, and 23 of 99 reported a history of blistering. Overall, 73% of patients were diagnosed with melanoma in adolescence and 27% were diagnosed in childhood. The most common melanomas diagnosed among these patients were spitzoid (31%) or superficial spreading (26%) subtypes; 11% of melanomas were associated with a congenital melanocytic nevus.