Study Sheds Light on Penile Melanoma

Prognosis and treatment similar to cutaneous melanomas

FRIDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Primary mucosal penile melanoma has a similar prognosis as cutaneous melanoma when the tumors are of comparable thickness, according to a report in the August issue of Urology. Wide local excision and sentinal node biopsy for clinically negative lymph nodes is the recommended treatment.

Albertus N. van Geel, M.D., of the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a retrospective case review of patients with primary mucosal penile melanoma. Data were collected from 19 Dutch patients and 47 patients from the medical literature and analyzed with regards to clinical features, prognostic factors and survival.

Mean age at diagnosis was 60. Two-year and five-year survival rates were 63 percent and 31 percent, respectively. Negative prognostic factors were tumor thickness (3.5 mm or more), diameter (greater than 15 mm), and presence of ulceration. Patients were treated with local excision or partial penectomy, with or without lymph node dissection.

"Despite the drawbacks of performing a retrospective analysis and pooling data from different series, this study shows that primary mucosal penile melanoma does not carry a worse prognosis than conventional melanoma with a similar Breslow stage," the authors conclude.

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