Primary anorectal melanomas: An istitutional experience

C. Rossetti, D. Koukouras, M. Eboli, S. Andreola, L. Bertario

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Primary melanomas (M) of the rectum and anal canal are a rare pathological event, constituting approximately 1% of all invasive tumors in this site. From January 1973 to December 1990 at the Istituto Nazionale per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori of Milan, 11 patients were treated for M (5 males and 6 females), with a mean age of 60 years (range 40-80). The site of origin of the M was rectal in four patients, anal in five patients and in the anorectal joint in two patients. The lesion was prevalently polypoid and the average size was 4 cm (1-7.5 cm). Symptoms referred by the patients were rectal bleeding and tenesmus. In one patient the diagnosis was made after biopsy of an inguinal metastatic lymphnode. Of the 11 patients, six underwent curative resection (four Miles' resections and two local excisions). One patient is still alive with no evidence of disease after 120 months. The remaining five patients were submitted to palliative treatment, due to the presence of metastases in four of them and to age and general conditions in one. All of these patients died at 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 months (median: 4 months). Overall median survival was eight months: 20 months in the radically treated group and four months in the palliatively treated group. Our data are in agreement with those reported in literature and confirm the prognostic severity of anorectal M due both to late diagnosis and the biological aggressiveness of the neoplasm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-85
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1997


  • anal neoplasms
  • anorectal melanoma
  • melanoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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