Melanoma recurs after 10 years in 6% of patients

July 8, 2013

Melanoma recurs in about one in 20 patients about 10 years after their initial treatment, according to a recent study.

 

Melanoma recurs in about one in 20 patients about 10 years after their initial treatment, according to a recent study.

Researchers from Saint John’s Health Center, Santa Monica, Calif., analyzed a large institutional database to evaluate late recurrence of melanoma and the frequency of this phenomenon and its clinical significance. Investigators observed 408 late recurrences of melanoma, with a mean disease-free interval of 15.7 years.

Of the patients who had received primary treatment at the institution and had 10 or more years of follow-up, 6.9 percent (327 of 4,731) had a late recurrence. Late recurrence rates were 6.8 and 11.3 percent at 15 and 20 years, respectively, according to the study. Late recurrence was associated with tumor (thin, non-ulcerated, non-head/neck, node negative) and patient (younger age, less male predominant) characteristics, researchers noted.

“Late recurrences were more likely to be distant, but were associated with better post-recurrence survival on univariate and multivariate analyses,” study authors noted.

The study was published in the July issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

 

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