Indexed on: 17 Apr '21Published on: 16 Apr '21Published in: Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology
Acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM), a relatively rare subtype of cutaneous melanoma, has been reported to have a worse prognosis than other melanomas. We aimed to assess clinical findings in Caucasian ALM patients and compare the data with a matched cohort of superficial spreading melanoma (SSM) patients. We studied 63 patients with ALM and 63 randomly stage- and limb-matched patients with SSM (non-ALM). In both cohorts, guideline-adjusted diagnosis, treatment and follow-up were performed. We did not observe differences in prognostic factors (e.g., tumor thickness, ulceration) between the two cohorts. Both in ALM and non-ALM patients positive sentinel lymph node was a significant independent predictor for disease relapse and melanoma-specific death. However, disease relapse and melanoma-specific death rates did not significantly differ between ALM and non-ALM patients. An overall 5-year melanoma-specific survival of 82.5% and 81% was observed in ALM and non-ALM patients, respectively. Our data confirm that patients with ALM have no worse outcome than non-ALM patients when correcting for significant prognostic factors. Hence, the reportedly high rates of fatal ALM cases should not be ascribed to pathobiological differences between ALM and non-ALM but are most likely are a consequence of a delay in diagnosis and thus advanced stage of ALM.