What is known?
Previous studies looking at the survival of patients diagnosed with multiple primary melanomas have yielded variable and opposing findings, often related to the method of calculation that was used.
What is new?
The review showed that when data were analysed with appropriate statistical methods to account for so-called “survival bias”, patients with multiple primary melanomas were found to have a clear survival disadvantage compared to patients with a single primary melanoma.
What does this mean?
Improvements in early diagnosis of melanoma have resulted in higher rates of survival following melanoma. Combined with an increased risk of melanoma in survivors, a significant and growing proportion of patients will develop multiple invasive melanomas. People with a history of an invasive melanoma who are diagnosed with an additional invasive melanoma are at higher risk of death than would otherwise be expected. This should be considered when decisions are made in relation to treatment and follow up support.
Contact: Danny Youlden
Reference: Peek G, Olsen CM, Baade P, Youlden DR, Aitken JF, Green AC, Khosrotehrani K. Survival in patients with multiple primary melanomas: systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2020; 83(5):1406-1414.