Acral melanoma tumors may require more aggressive surgical treatment

Acral melanoma was found to have higher recurrence and lower survival rates than other types of melanoma and may require more aggressive surgical intervention, according to researchers.

The researchers selected patients from a prospectively enrolled cohort of primary melanoma patients at NYU Langone Medical Center; 61 patients with acral melanoma and 183 patients with non-acral melanoma were included. Median follow-up was 33 months in the acral melanoma cohort and 58 months in the non-acral melanoma cohort.

Compared with non-acral melanoma, the acral histologic subtype was found to be an independent negative predictor of recurrence-free survival (P < .001) and melanoma-specific survival (P = .001), according to the researchers.

Recurrence rates were significantly higher in patients with acral melanoma (49%) compared with patients who had non-acral melanoma (30%; P = .007).

The researchers also found that in tumors with a thickness of less than 2 mm, there was a significantly higher recurrence rate of acral melanoma at 28% compared with non-acral melanoma at 10% (P = .048). Additionally, the rate of loco-regional recurrence was nearly double among patients with acral melanoma (39%) compared with patients who had non-acral melanoma (19%; P = .001).

Disclosure: The study was supported by the Perlmutter NYU Cancer Institute NCI Cancer Center Support Grant (5 P30 CA 016087-2), and the Marc Jacobs Campaign to support melanoma research. Stein received support by the Irwin I. Lubowe Fellowship in Dermatology.