Clinical Features and Outcomes of Black Patients with Melanoma: A Case Series Between 2006-2022



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BACKGROUND: The incidence of melanoma in Black patients is rare, therefore most studies describing outcomes have been performed using population databases with limited patient-level information. OBJECTIVE: To describe specific anatomic sites, clinical features, histologic subtypes, risk factors, and outcomes of Black patients with melanoma. METHODS: Case series of Black patients with melanoma identified between January 2006 and October 2022 at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Health in Dallas, TX. Participants included self-identified Black patients with a histopathologic diagnosis of melanoma. Data collection included demographics, clinical characteristics, personal and family medical history, immunosuppression history, comorbidities, histopathology reports, imaging reports, melanoma treatments and responses, time to progression, metastatic sites, and survival. Kaplan-Meier analysis captured melanoma-related survival by primary site. RESULTS: Of the 48 patients identified, the median age at diagnosis of melanoma was 61.5 (range: 23-86) with the majority being female (30/48). Seventy-five percent (30/40) of primary cutaneous melanomas were located on acral skin despite only one-third (10/30) being histologically classified as acral lentiginous melanomas. Compared to those with acral disease, patients with non-acral cutaneous melanomas were more likely to be immunocompromised (40% vs. 7%) or have a personal history of cancer (60% vs. 17%) with all (3/3) superficial spreading melanoma patients having a history of both. No patients had more than 1 confirmed primary melanoma. In total, 13 (27%) Black patients with melanoma developed stage IV disease, of which 12 ultimately died due to disease progression. Those diagnosed with advanced acral melanoma, mucosal/ocular melanoma, or unknown primary had the poorest melanoma outcomes. No patients with non- acral cutaneous melanomas developed distant metastases or died of their disease. CONCLUSION: Most cutaneous melanomas in Black patients occur on acral sites. Non-acral cutaneous melanomas had limited contribution to melanoma mortality in Black patients and were diagnosed primarily in immunocompromised patients or those with a history of other cancers. Improving melanoma mortality in Black patients will require focused therapeutic and early detection strategies for acral, mucosal/ocular, and melanoma of unknown primary.

General Notes

The 62nd Annual Medical Student Research Forum at UT Southwestern Medical Center (Tuesday, January 30, 2024, 3-6 p.m., D1.700 Lecture Hall)

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Clinical Research, Black or African American, Melanoma, Retrospective Studies, Skin Neoplasms


Brown, A. B., Wix, S. N., Heberton, M., Adamson, A. S., & Gill, J. G. (2024, January 30). Clinical features and outcomes of Black patients with melanoma: A case series between 2006-2022 [Poster session]. 62nd Annual Medical Student Research Forum, Dallas, Texas.

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