Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Moffitt Cancer Center Researchers Study Childhood Melanoma Characteristics

07.09.2012
Melanoma, newly diagnosed in more than 76,000 Americans in 2011, is the most common and dangerous form of skin cancer. Melanoma is rare in children, accounting for 1 to 4 percent of all melanoma cases and just 3 percent of pediatric cancers. Just as adult cases of melanoma are increasing, pediatric melanoma is rising at the rate of 1 to 4 percent per year.

The physicians and staff at Moffitt Cancer Center have a special interest in melanoma and related conditions occurring in childhood, and recently published results of their experience with cases of pathologically confirmed childhood melanoma.

They found evidence that the disease manifests differently in children than in adults, particularly with regard to the likelihood and significance of lymph node metastases. Metastases to the lymph nodes, particularly the sentinel nodes, were found more frequently in children with melanoma than would be expected in adults with the same stage of disease, yet with aggressive surgical and medical treatment, stage-for-stage the survival in children was better than expected for adults.

The study is published in the August issue of the Annals of Surgical Oncology.

“We really don’t know why young children are getting melanoma, although for older children the risk factors – fair skin, sun exposure and especially sunburns – are similar to those in adults. Children with melanoma have higher rates of metastases to sentinel lymph nodes than adults, but they tend to do very well with aggressive treatment,” said senior study author Vernon K. Sondak, M.D., chair of the Department of Cutaneous Oncology at Moffitt and an expert in the treatment of melanoma in children and adults.
“There is suggestive evidence that the biology of melanoma in children, particularly young children, may be quite different than in adults. Importantly, the diagnosis of melanoma in children can be quite difficult, and consultation with an expert pathologist is often necessary to be sure that we are in fact dealing with melanoma and not some type of atypical mole. Our most recent study focused only on patients where our pathologist verified that melanoma was present, atypical tumors were excluded.”

In this study, Moffitt researchers and colleagues at the University of South Florida and All Children’s Hospital retrospectively reviewed 126 patients who were diagnosed with melanoma before age 21. One aspect of the study was to determine outcomes of childhood cases of melanoma where the patient had sentinel lymph nodes positive for metastases. The sentinel lymph node directly drains the skin where the primary tumor arose and is almost always the first node affected as a melanoma spreads. Primary tumor characteristics that may predict sentinel lymph node metastases in pediatric patients have not been extensively studied. Sentinel lymph node biopsies were performed in 62 cases, with 18 having a positive node. In the other 64 cases where a sentinel lymph node biopsy was not performed, the reasons were usually because the stage of the melanoma was not appropriate for the procedure.

“We observed a 29 percent positive sentinel lymph node rate,” said Sondak, noting that the rate fell within the 25 to 40 percent rate found by other studies done in children, but higher than the 12 to 15 percent rate typically found in studies in adult melanoma. “We found that patients with positive SLN had significantly thicker melanomas when compared with SLN negative patients.”

The researchers also found that pediatric melanoma patients with positive SLN had significantly worse recurrence-free survival and melanoma-specific survival rates. However, although lymph node metastases are seen at a higher rate in children, survival is comparable to – or even better than – what has been reported for adults with melanoma. According to Sondak, as the incidence of pediatric melanoma rises, it is important to gain a better understanding of the unique clinical characteristics of melanoma in children.

“We feel that most pediatric patients with clinically localized melanomas should be offered sentinel lymph node biopsies,” concluded Sondak and his co-authors. “It is also noteworthy that a significant number of recurrences and melanoma-related deaths are seen more than five years after initial diagnosis. Thus, long-term follow-up is necessary as these children become young adults. Most of all, our study should remind people how important it is to protect children from the sun and from sunburn, starting from birth.”

About Moffitt Cancer Center
Located in Tampa, Moffitt is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research, its contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Since 1999, Moffitt has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer. With more than 4,200 employees, Moffitt has an economic impact on the state of nearly $2 billion. For more information, visit MOFFITT.org, and follow the Moffitt momentum on Facebook, twitter and YouTube.

Media release by Florida Science Communications

Kim Polacek | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.moffitt.org

Further reports about: Cancer Moffitt Oncology Researchers lymph node melanoma node metastases risk factor

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Periodic ventilation keeps more pollen out than tilted-open windows
29.03.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Improving memory with magnets
28.03.2017 | McGill University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Periodic ventilation keeps more pollen out than tilted-open windows

29.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Researchers discover dust plays prominent role in nutrients of mountain forest ecoystems

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

OLED production facility from a single source

29.03.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>