Predicting disease spread in thin melanoma

Predicting disease spread in thin melanoma

5 March 2021

Clinicians and their patients are now able to determine the likelihood of thin melanoma spreading and potentially turning into a more deadly form of the disease, thanks to the latest online risk calculator released by Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA).

The team at MIA has developed a model to predict recurrence in patients with thin melanoma of the skin, with this latest calculator added to the clinical tools available on the Melanoma Risk website.

Around seven out of every 10 primary melanomas are thin melanomas (defined as ≤1.0mm in Breslow thickness) when they are diagnosed. Although most patients generally have an excellent prognosis, some do recur and these patients need to be identified and managed appropriately.

The number of patients diagnosed with thin melanomas is steadily increasing worldwide due to increased UV-exposure, aging populations and greater awareness of melanoma leading to earlier diagnosis.

‘Identifying which patients will progress is of great importance and our understanding of the factors that predict ultimate outcome has historically been unclear,’ said A/Prof Serigne Lo, senior author and Head of the Research and Biostatistics Group at MIA. ‘The development of this online tool will help inform discussions between clinicians and their patients, ultimately guiding more personalised risk-based management decisions.’

Research underpinning this latest risk calculator is based on joint international collaboration between MIA and University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands and was recently published in the prestigious Journal of Clinical Oncology. Researchers used data from the Dutch research group and from MIA’s patient database.

The Thin Melanoma Recurrence Risk Calculator is available for clinician use here:

Publication: El Sharouni MA, Ahmed T, Varey AHR, Elias SG, Witkamp AJ, Sigurdsson V, Suijkerbuijk KPM, van Diest PJ, Scolyer RA, van Gils CH, Thompson JF, Blokx WAM, and Lo SN. Development and Validation of Nomograms to Predict Local, Regional, and Distant Recurrence in Patients With Thin (T1) Melanomas. Journal of Clinical Oncology. (Epub Feb 2021)