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J Gastrointest Cancer. 2012 Mar;43(1):31-5. doi: 10.1007/s12029-010-9216-2.

Management of anorectal melanoma: report of 17 cases and literature review.

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  • 1Department of Medical Oncology, National Institute of Oncology, Avenue Allal Alfassi, Rabat, Morocco. r_belbaraka@yahoo.fr



Primary anorectal melanoma is a rare and aggressive disease. It accounts for 0.5% of all rectal tumors. They are very agressive tumors with poor prognosis. The aim of this study is to report the clinical and evolutionary profile and therapeutical approach of these tumors.


A retrospective study of 17 patients with anorectal melanoma diagnosed between January 1998 and December 2007 was performed. The signs and symptoms, diagnostic study, and surgical and medical treatments were analyzed.


The average age was 58 years. Sex ratio was 12 men per five women. Patients had symptoms present for an average of 6 months. The most common symptom was rectal bleeding. According to Slingluff classification, five patients had stage I (localized tumor), four cases had stage II (regional nodes metastasis), and eight cases had stage III (distant metastasis). Seven patients have radical surgery. Only two patients received adjuvant immunotherapy. Eight patients received palliative chemotherapy based on dacarbazine or cisplatinum. The median survival was 8 months.


Prognosis of anorectal melanoma is still very poor. However, some patients when treated by radical resection may experience long-term survival. The use of adjuvant immunotherapy needs large collaborative studies in view of the rarity of the tumor.

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