Pediatr Dermatol 2019 Apr 16. Epub 2019 Apr 16.
Department of Dermatology, Stanford University Medical Center, Pigmented Lesion and Melanoma Program, Stanford University Medical Center and Cancer Institute, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford, California.
Objectives: To characterize clinical differences among nonwhite/multiethnic vs white children, adolescents, and young adults with melanoma or atypical melanocytic neoplasms, including atypical Spitz tumors.
Patients And Methods: A cohort of 55 patients (< 25 years of age) prospectively followed from 1995 to 2018 in the Stanford Pigmented Lesion and Melanoma Program was analyzed for differences in clinical presentation, including skin phototype, race/ethnicity, age, sex, tumor/melanoma characteristics, and outcome.
Results: Seventeen patients (9 males and 8 females) were classified as nonwhite (predominantly skin phototype IV) and of Hispanic, Asian, or Black/African American ethnicity, and 38 patients (21 males and 17 females) were classified as white (predominantly phototypes I/II). Ages ranged from 6 months to 24 years, and median follow-up was 36 months (range 1-180 months). Melanomas were diagnosed in 87% of whites in our cohort, compared to 65% of nonwhites, with the remainder representing mainly atypical Spitz tumors. Lesions were usually brought to the attention of a health care provider by the patient or family (P < 0.05). Compared with whites, nonwhites were more likely to present at a younger mean age (10.9 years vs 15.4 years, P < 0.05) and with pink/clinically amelanotic tumors (59% vs 24%, P = 0.02).
Conclusions: This long-term prospective institutional study showed clinically relevant differences between nonwhite vs white children, adolescents, and young adults diagnosed with melanoma and atypical melanocytic neoplasms. Nonwhite patients presented at a younger age and had more clinically amelanotic melanocytic tumors. Increased recognition of clinical factors and risk of these tumors in nonwhites could result in earlier diagnosis.