Malignant melanoma

Filippo De Braud, David Khayat, Bin B R Kroon, Ricardo Valdagni, Paolo Bruzzi, Natale Cascinelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the European Community cutaneous melanoma accounts for 1 and 1.8% of cancers occurring in men and women, respectively. The incidence rate is increasing faster than that of any other tumour. Sun exposure, patient's phenotype, family history, and history of a previous melanoma are the major risk factors. The change over a period of months is the main sign of a skin lesion turned into a melanoma. The ABCDE scheme for early detection of melanoma is commonly accepted. A new staging classification will be published in the next AJCC/UICC Cancer Staging System Manual in 2002. The clinical course of melanoma is determined by its dissemination and depends on thickness, ulceration, localisation, gender and histology of the primary tumour. Tumour stage at diagnosis remains the major prognostic factor. Surgery is the standard treatment option for operable local-regional disease. Sentinel node biopsy represents a promising experimental approach in the clinical detection and early treatment of occult lymph node involvement. For metastatic inoperable patients systemic chemotherapy can be attempted, while radiation therapy has to be considered as palliative treatment. No studies concerning frequency of follow-up are currently available, but common procedures may be performed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-63
Number of pages29
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2003


  • Clinical detection
  • Cutaneous melanoma
  • Genetics
  • Mortality rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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