Management of cutaneous melanoma M0: State of the art and trends

C. R. Rossi, M. Foletto, A. Vecchiato, S. Alessio, N. Menin, M. Lise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article reviews the epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment of cutaneous melanoma, including the most recent developments. The combination of positive family history, fair complexion, number of nevi, exposure to sun and/or chromosomal alterations seem to be implicated in the pathogenesis of cutaneous melanoma. Melanomas can be classified according to their growth patterns, and tumour microstaging is of straightforward predictive value for survival and risk of metastasis, although new factors are also being investigated. As yet, surgical excision is the only effective treatment available for primary tumours, resection margins varying according to tumour thickness. Elective node dissection is, however, no longer advocated for melanomas thinner than 1.5 mm, and there is disagreement as to its role for thicker lesions. In contrast, selective node dissection at the time of definitive surgery is becoming more widely accepted, with regional node dissection being restricted to positive cases. Therapeutic dissection is required for lymph node involvement, the most common pattern of recurrence from melanoma, which affects nearly 30% of all patients. Complete remission rates from isolated limb perfusion, which has been employed in patients with multiple recurrences or in-transit metastases, range from 40 to 90%, depending on drugs and techniques used in different series; the best responses so far have been obtained with tumour necrosis factor in combination with melphalan. Patients with thick lesions (> 4 mm) or lymph node metastases have a high risk of micrometastases that would warrant adjuvant therapy. The only agent found to affect survival is interferon alpha-2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2302-2312
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1997


  • Cutaneous melanoma
  • Diagnosis
  • Epidemiology
  • Melanoma
  • Review
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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