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AAD: Risk for Second Primary Malignancy Increased for Melanoma Patients

Melanoma survivors at greatest risk for cutaneous melanoma, ocular melanoma, thyroid, brain, prostate cancers

By Dermsquared Editorial Team | March 13, 2024

WEDNESDAY, March 13, 2024 -- Melanoma patients face an increased risk for developing second primary malignancy (SPM), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, held from March 8 to 12 in San Diego.

Using data from Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-17 cancer registries, Thomas Z. Rohan, from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, and colleagues describe the risk for SPM after a melanoma diagnosis (January 2000 to December 2020). Data were included for 283,435 primary melanoma patients. The standardized incidence ratio (SIR) of observed to expected cases was used to calculate relative risk.

The researchers found that 16.3 percent of the primary melanoma patients developed an SPM. The risk for developing any subsequent cancer was increased compared with the general population (SIR, 1.57). Overall, 61.5 percent of the patients received their cancer diagnosis between the ages of 50 and 79 years; there was an inverse relationship noted between the risk for SPM and age at melanoma diagnosis until age 80+ years. More than half of the melanomas were on the trunk or upper limbs; head and neck was the location associated with the highest risk for developing an SPM (SIR,1.65). There was a positive correlation seen for initial tumor thickness with SIR. Melanoma survivors had the greatest risk for cutaneous melanoma, ocular melanoma, thyroid, brain, and prostate cancers (SIRs, 9.65, 2.31, 1.89, 1.3, and 1.22, respectively).

"Melanoma patients should remain under continued surveillance for both subsequent melanoma and other cancers," the authors write.


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