Paediatric melanoma: clinical update, genetic basis, and advances in diagnosis

Emily A. Merkel, Lauren S. Mohan, Katherine Shi, E. Panah, Bin Zhang, Pedram Gerami*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Paediatric melanoma is rare and challenging to diagnose. The three subtypes are Spitzoid melanoma, melanoma arising in a congenital melanocytic nevus, and conventional (also known as adult-type) melanoma. Spitzoid melanomas have characteristic histopathological and genomic aberrations. Despite frequent involvement of the sentinel lymph nodes, most cases have an uneventful clinical course. Among congenital nevi, the risk of melanoma varies by projected size in adulthood, with the greatest risk in large or giant nevi. The clinical course is generally aggressive and accounts for most melanoma-related deaths in childhood. In conventional melanoma, superficial spreading and nodular melanoma account for most cases, with risk factors and presentation largely similar to adult disease. In this Review, we discuss advances in histological diagnosis using adjunctive molecular assays, and summarise the genetic basis of paediatric melanoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)646-654
Number of pages9
JournalThe Lancet Child and Adolescent Health
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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