Clinical Edge

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Predictors of Mucosal Melanoma Survival

J Am Acad Dermatol; ePub 2018 Oct 5; Altieri, et al

Stage and anatomic site, but not thickness (ie, Breslow depth), race, or ethnicity, determine prognosis of mucosal melanomas, a recent study found. Therefore, considering the poor prognosis for all stages of mucosal melanoma, dermatologists should incorporate examination of the oropharynx and genitalia in the full body skin exam. Researchers analyzed 132,751 cases of melanoma, including 1,824 mucosal melanomas, diagnosed between 1994 and 2015 and reported to the California Cancer Registry. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and Cox proportional hazards regression assessed the prognostic variables. They found:

  • The 5-year relative survival for mucosal melanomas (27.64%) was significantly lower than for cutaneous melanomas (76.28%).
  • Stage independently influenced survival, and thickness did not predict survival for neoplasms of known depth.
  • Less common anatomic sites conferred worse prognoses (hazard ratio [HR] 1.93).


Altieri L, Eguchi M, Peng DH, Cockburn M. Predictors of mucosal melanoma survival in a population-based setting. [Published online ahead of print October 5, 2018]. J Am Acad Dermatol. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2018.09.054.