From the Journals

Case-control study IDs several novel risk factors of post-HCT melanoma



Certain myeloablative conditioning regimens are among several novel risk factors for melanoma after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT), according to findings from a nested case-control study.

The study included 140 cases of melanoma and 557 controls matched by age at HCT, sex, primary disease, and survival time. The results showed a significantly increased melanoma risk in HCT survivors who received total body irradiation–based myeloablative conditioning, reduced-intensity conditioning with melphalan, or reduced-intensity conditioning with fludarabine, compared with those who received busulfan-based myeloablative conditioning (odds ratios, 1.77, 2.60, and 2.72, respectively), Megan M. Herr, PhD, of the division of cancer epidemiology and genetics at the National Cancer Institute, and the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, N.Y., and colleagues reported in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Melanoma risk also was increased in patients who experienced acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) with stage 2 or greater skin involvement (OR, 1.92 vs. those with no acute GVHD), chronic GVHD without skin involvement (OR, 1.91 vs. those with no chronic GVHD), or keratinocytic carcinoma (OR, 2.37), and in those who resided in areas with higher ambient ultraviolet radiation (OR for the highest vs. lowest tertile, 1.64).

The UV radiation finding was more pronounced for melanomas occurring 6 or more years after transplant (OR, 3.04 for highest vs. lowest tertile), whereas ambient UV radiation was not associated with melanomas occurring earlier (ORs, 1.37 for less than 3 years and 0.98 at 3-6 years), the investigators noted.

The findings, based on large-scale and detailed clinical data from the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research for HCT performed during 1985-2012, show that melanoma after HCT has a multifactorial etiology that includes patient-, transplant-, and posttransplant-related factors, they said, noting that the findings also underscore the importance of “prioritization of high-risk survivors for adherence to prevention and screening recommendations.”

Those recommendations call for routine skin examination and photoprotective precautions – particularly in HCT survivors at the highest risk – but studies of screening behaviors suggest that fewer than two-thirds of HCT survivors adhere to these recommendations, they said, concluding that further research on the cost-effectiveness of melanoma screening is warranted, as is investigation into whether current approaches are associated with melanoma risk.

This work was supported by the intramural research program of the National Cancer Institute, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Health & Human Services. The authors reported having no conflicts of interest.

SOURCE: Herr MM et al. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2019 Oct 22. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2019.10.034.

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