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Cutaneous melanoma survival rates of the elderly are not worse than those of the young, yet they have some specific differences

1 Department of Medical Oncology, Istanbul University Institute of Oncology, Istanbul, Turkey
2 Department of Medical Oncology, Koc University, Istanbul, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Ferhat Ferhatoglu,
Department of Medical Oncology, İstanbul University Institute of Oncology, Millet Street, 34093 Capa-Fatih-Istanbul
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcrt.jcrt_815_21

Introduction: The incidence of cutaneous melanoma among the elderly has increased significantly. Unfavorable survival rates are associated with insufficient patient managements and poor prognostic features in the elderly. We aimed to compare elderly (≥75 years) and younger (<75 years) patients with cutaneous melanoma to determine the differences and the prognostic significance of age. Materials and Methods: The retrospective data of 117 elderly and 232 younger patients with cutaneous melanoma were compared. Results: The median age of the elderly patients was 78 years (75–104), and 51.3% of the patients were female. Of the patients, 14.5% were in the metastatic stages. Clinicopathologic factors such as extremity melanomas (P = 0.01), Clark levels IV–V (P = 0.04), ulceration (P = 0.009), and neurotropism (P = 0.03) were significantly more common in elderly patients. However, BRAF mutation was significantly more common in younger patients (P = 0.003). Overall survival (OS) and recurrence-free survival (RFS) rates of both the groups were similar. Lymph node involvement (P < 0.005), distant metastasis (P < 0.005), and relapse of disease (P = 0.02) were associated with poor OS in elderly patients. Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes was associated with prolonged RFS (P = 0.05), while extremity melanomas (P = 0.01), lymphovascular invasion (P = 0.006), and lymph node involvement (P < 0.005) had negative impact on RFS. Conclusions: Although elderly patients with cutaneous melanoma had different clinicopathologic features in our series, their survival rates are similar to those of younger patients, which shows that age alone is inadequate to determine the prognosis. Disease stage and a comprehensive geriatric assessment might assist to determine appropriate management.

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    -  Erturk K
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