Amelanotic malignant melanoma (AMM) is challenging to diagnose. Clinical risk factors for AMM are not well defined.
To investigate clinicopathologic, misdiagnosis, and survival differences between patients with AMM and those with pigmented malignant melanoma (PMM).
A cross-sectional retrospective medical record review at a tertiary academic medical center.
A total of 933 patients with melanoma with known presenting tumor color were identified (342 with AMM vs 591 with PMM). AMM was associated with older age, history of nonmelanoma skin cancer, and red hair, whereas AMM was inversely associated with a family history of melanoma, more than 50 nevi, and a history of dysplastic nevi. Compared with PMM, AMM was more likely to be located on the head and/or neck, had more aggressive pathologic features (greater Breslow depth and/or mitoses, ulceration, nodular subtype), and was less likely to be associated with a precursor nevus or regression. Finally, patients with AMM were more likely to be misdiagnosed than were patients with PMM (25% vs 12% clinically and 12% vs 7% pathologically), and they had poorer melanoma-specific survival (5-year overall survival rate, 0.77 [95% confidence interval, 0.72-0.82] vs 0.84 [95% confidence interval, 0.80-0.87]).
Retrospective study design, single-institutional study.
Greater clinician awareness, lower biopsy thresholds, and increased patient education may be useful to enhance AMM detection in patients with certain characteristics.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Key words : amelanotic, MC1R, melanoma, red hair, risk factors
Abbreviations used : AMM, CI, DN, FH, NMSC, OR, PMM, UV
| Funding sources: Supported in part by a grant from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (R21CA182241) (to Dr Li, Dr Lee, and Dr Kim).
| Conflicts of interest: None disclosed.
| Reprints not available from the authors.