Melanoma Associated with CLL Creates Need for Closer Monitoring

Source: Pharmacy Times, October 2019

Researchers from Wilmot Cancer Institute have found that patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) had a 600% higher risk of melanoma, according to a study published in the journal Leukemia Research.

Although previous studies have shown a higher risk of melanoma among patients with CLL, detection rates and treatment efficacy had yet to be reported, according to the researchers. As a result of these new data, the study authors recommend that all clinical teams who care for patients with CLL monitor for melanoma as part of their care routine, with a goal of catching it early and managing it with new targeted therapies.

According to the press release, 22 melanomas were diagnosed among 470 people in the cohort of patients with CLL, which is 600% higher than the expected rate in a similar group of age- and gender-matched people from the general population. Of the 22 diagnoses, 15 (68%) were detected through monitoring in the University of Rochester Medicine dermatology clinic associated with the study authors and 2 cases (9%) were found by CLL specialists. Eighty-eight percent of the cases involved earlier-stage disease with a better prognosis, according to the press release.

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