Background/Objective: Relative to adults, rates of melanoma are lower in children. Due to its rarity, it is difficult to assess the incidence, trends, and outcomes of this malignancy. Much of our understanding comes from single institution or regional cancer registries which may not be large enough to detect subtleties in the burden of pediatric melanoma. Methods: Data from the 2004 to 2016 National Cancer Database were analyzed; this database captures approximately 70% of all cancer diagnoses in the United States. Results: Our analysis consisted of 1903 cases. A majority were White (89.8%), the mean age was 12.4 years, and the ratio of females: males was 1.2:1.0. The most common anatomic location was the trunk (31.1%). Between 2004 and 2016, a decreasing trend in the number of new melanoma cases was observed. Comparing histologic subtype by age, there was an increased percentage of nodular and epithelioid and spindle cell tumors in the pre-teen children and a greater percentage of superficial spreading tumors in teenagers. Overall, a majority of cases were stage 0 or I (56.9%), with relatively few stage IV cases (2.0%). A 5-year all-cause survival of greater than 90% was observed for stage I-III tumors, with stage IV tumors having a 5-year all-cause survival of 34.4%. Conclusion: Comparable to previous studies, pediatric melanoma occurred most often in Whites, females, and adolescents. However, we detected a decreasing trend in new cases, noted differences between histologic subtype and age, and observed a 5-year all-cause survival rate of greater than 90% for stage I-III tumors.
- medical dermatology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health