Characteristics of melanoma in white and nonwhite children, adolescents, and young adults: Analysis of a pediatric melanoma institutional registry, 1995-2018. Pediatric dermatology Afanasiev, O. K., Tu, J. H., Chu, D. H., Swetter, S. M. 2019


OBJECTIVES: To characterize clinical differences among nonwhite/multiethnic vs white children, adolescents, and young adults with melanoma or atypical melanocytic neoplasms, including atypical Spitz tumors.PATIENTS AND METHODS: A cohort of 55 patients (< 25years of age) prospectively followed from 1995 to 2018 in the Stanford Pigmented Lesion and Melanoma Program was analyzed for differences in clinical presentation, including skin phototype, race/ethnicity, age, sex, tumor/melanoma characteristics, and outcome.RESULTS: Seventeen patients (9 males and 8 females) were classified as nonwhite (predominantly skin phototype IV) and of Hispanic, Asian, or Black/African American ethnicity, and 38 patients (21 males and 17 females) were classified as white (predominantly phototypes I/II). Ages ranged from 6months to 24years, and median follow-up was 36months (range 1-180months). Melanomas were diagnosed in 87% of whites in our cohort, compared to 65% of nonwhites, with the remainder representing mainly atypical Spitz tumors. Lesions were usually brought to the attention of a health care provider by the patient or family (P<0.05). Compared with whites, nonwhites were more likely to present at a younger mean age (10.9years vs 15.4years, P<0.05) and with pink/clinically amelanotic tumors (59% vs 24%, P=0.02).CONCLUSIONS: This long-term prospective institutional study showed clinically relevant differences between nonwhite vs white children, adolescents, and young adults diagnosed with melanoma and atypical melanocytic neoplasms. Nonwhite patients presented at a younger age and had more clinically amelanotic melanocytic tumors. Increased recognition of clinical factors and risk of these tumors in nonwhites could result in earlier diagnosis.

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