Buja A, Rugge M, Trevisiol C, Zanovello A, Brazzale AR, Zorzi M, Vecchiato A, Del Fiore P, Tropea S, Rastrelli M, Rossi CR, Mocellin S.

BMC Geriatr. 2024 Mar 6;24(1):232. doi: 10.1186/s12877-024-04806-8.


Background: In industrialized countries, the aging population is steadily rising. The incidence of cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) is highest in old people. This study focuses on the clinicopathological profile of CMM and indicators of diagnostic-therapeutic performance in older patients.

Methods: This retrospective population-based cohort study included 1,368 incident CMM, as recorded in 2017 by the Regional Veneto Cancer Registry (Northeast Italy). Older subjects were defined as ≥ 80, old as 65-79, and adults as < 65 years of age. The strength of association between pairs of variables was tested by Cramer's-V. Using age groups as the dependent variable, ordered logistic regression was fitted using the clinicopathological CMM profiles as covariates. In each of the three age-groups, the indicators of clinical performance were computed using the Clopper-Pearson exact method.

Results: Compared to patients aged younger than 80 years (1,187), CMM in older patients (181; 13.2%) featured different CMM topography, a higher prevalence of ulcers (43.3% versus 12.7%; p < 0.001), a higher Breslow index (p < 0.001), a lower prevalence of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (64.4% versus 76.5%, p < 0.01), and a more advanced pTNM stage at clinical presentation (p < 0.001). Elderly patients with a positive sentinel-lymph node less frequently underwent sentinel- lymph node biopsy and lymphadenectomy (60.0% versus 94.2%, and 44.4% versus 85.5%, respectively; p < 0.001).

Conclusions: In older CMM patients, the clinicopathological presentation of CMM shows a distinctive profile. The present results provide critical information to optimize secondary prevention strategies and refine diagnostic-therapeutic procedures tailored to older patients.

Pubmed https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38448833/