Nav: Home

Knowing risk factors could help catch melanomas

November 09, 2016

The new study, published online today by JAMA Dermatology, identifies high risk patients who may benefit from tailored surveillance.

The incidence of melanoma that occurs on the skin is increasing in predominantly white-skinned populations and Australia's incidence is among the highest in the world.

The study's objective was to characterise melanoma patients and the clinical features associated with their melanomas according to patient risk factors: many moles, a history of previous melanoma, and family history of melanoma, to improve the identification and treatment of a higher-risk subgroup.

The researchers classified 2727 patients with melanoma from the Melanoma Patterns of Care Study as having high or lower risk, depending on whether they already had a personal or family history of melanoma, or many moles, or none of these three factors.

Thirty nine (39) per cent of patients were defined as higher risk due to family history, multiple primary melanomas or having lots of moles. The most common risk factor in this group was having many moles, followed by a personal history and a family history.

The authors report the average age at diagnosis was younger for higher-risk patients (62 versus 65 years) compared with those patients at lower risk because they did not have these risk factors. However, that age differed by risk factor: 56 years for patients with a family history, 59 years for those with many moles and 69 years for those with a previous melanoma.

Also, higher-risk patients with many moles were more likely to have melanoma on the trunk of the body, those with a family history were more likely to have melanomas on the limbs, and those with a personal history were more likely to have melanoma on the head and neck.

Dr Watts stated: "The results of our study suggest that a person's risk factor status might be used to tailor their surveillance program in terms of starting age and education about skin self-examination or more intensive surveillance. For instance, doctors could encourage people with many moles or with a family history of melanoma to start skin self-examination and monitoring at an earlier age than other people, and discuss the body sites that require particular attention."

Limitations of the study include risk factors based on physician recall and patient medical records. The authors also did not assess the reliability or validity of the risk factor data.
-end-


University of Sydney

Related Melanoma Articles:

Immunity against melanoma is only skin deep
Researchers at Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center find that unique immune cells, called resident memory T cells, do an outstanding job of preventing melanoma in patients who develop the autoimmune disease, vitiligo.
Researchers document how melanoma tumors form
University of Iowa researchers have documented in continuous, real time how melanoma cells form tumors.
New driver, target in advanced mucosal melanoma
A University of Colorado Cancer Center study published March 15, 2017, in the journal Melanoma Research uses the unique resource of over 600 melanoma samples collected at the university to demonstrate, for the first time, novel mutations involved in mucosal melanoma, paving the way for therapies to treat this overlooked subtype.
NIH study reveals how melanoma spreads
Newly identified genes and genetic pathways in primary melanoma -- a type of skin cancer -- could give researchers new targets for developing new personalized treatments for melanoma, and potentially other cancers.
Melanoma research breakthrough gives hope to treatment
A QUT-driven project has identified the way in which melanoma cells spread, opening up new pathways to treatment via drugs to 'turn off' the invasive gene.
Study examines melanoma incidence, death
A new research letter published online by JAMA Dermatology updates information on trends in melanoma incidence and death in the United States since 2009.
Research providing promising new treatments for melanoma
In a paper published online Nov. 30, 2016, in Melanoma Management, Adam Riker, M.D., Professor of Surgery and Chief of Surgical Oncology at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, reviews approaches to manage melanoma, including one tested at LSU Health New Orleans that provoked a complete response in a patient with a long history of the disease.
A protein that defines the melanoma blueprint
The latest study of the Melanoma Group at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre describes the roles of CPEB4; a protein that is crucial for melanoma cell survival.
Nanotechnology supports treatment of malignant melanoma
Changes in the genetic make-up of tissue samples can be detected quickly and easily using a new method based on nanotechnology.
Detecting melanoma early, without a biopsy
Colorado State University Professor Jesse Wilson has received a one-year, $30,000 grant from the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute to develop a new microscope that can distinguish between benign and malignant pigmented skin lesions, without the need for biopsy.

Related Melanoma Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...