Background: Patients that are treated for cutaneous melanoma are often considered cured after 10 years. However, there are patients that experience late recurrence of melanoma after this 10-year time period. The aim of the present study is to elucidate factors that influence late recurrence of melanoma so that better guidelines can be established in the future with regard to adequate follow-up for patients with melanoma.
Methods: A cohort of 30 patients retrieved from the Segez database were examined. Pearson and Spearman correlation analyses between the variables were generated. Univariate and multivariate cox proportional hazards models were used for the data set to identify significant independent prognostic factors for overall survival, progression-free survival, and post-recurrence survival.
Results: Female sex was identified as a characteristic that was associated with a more favorable overall survival and progression-free survival. Age was another characteristic that was a significant influence on progression-free survival, suggesting that patients younger than 50 years old have a significantly later recurrence than patients older than 50 years old.
Conclusion: This study shows that there are better survival outcomes in patients treated for melanoma for females and younger patients. However, late recurrences are undoubtedly seen in patients, regardless of potential risk factors, which highlights the importance of following patients even beyond 10 years after the initial treatment. Future efforts should be directed at elucidating risk factors with larger sample sizes, determining how long clinicians should follow melanoma patients beyond 10 years or indefinitely, and investigating the modalities used for effective treatment of late recurrences.
Audience Take Away Points :
- The audience will be able to learn who is at high risk for skin cancer recurrence
- The audience will learn that they may consider doing full body skin examinations annually for skin cancer patients indefinitely
- This will help the audience keep patients from developing advanced skin cancer if it is caught early
- Future research should investigate recurrence factors in a larger sample size.