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Am Surg. 2012 Jan;78(1):28-35.

A systematic review of prognosis and therapy of anal malignant melanoma: a plea for more precise reporting of location and thickness.

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Section of Colorectal Surgery, Department of Surgery, Price Institute of Surgical Research, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, Kentucky 40292, USA.


Anal malignant melanoma (AMM) is a rare tumor with poor prognosis. We performed a systematic review of reports on wide local excision (WLE) and abdominoperineal resection (APR) for treatment of AMM in an attempt to define a precise set of reporting measures for outcomes of treatment of AMM. A systematic review of the literature was performed. Demographic data, surgical treatment, pathology, and survival rates were recorded. We compared WLE versus APR in terms of the overall survival time, the disease-free survival, and overall survival at 60 months. Twenty-one reports met the inclusion criteria. Notably, of these, 10 did not specify thickness of the primary melanoma. Interestingly, groin lymph node status was described in 19 of 21 reports, whereas location was specified in only 12 papers and thickness (depth in mm) in only 11. The median survival times of patients undergoing WLE (n = 324) and those undergoing APR (n = 369) are comparable (20 and 21 months, respectively). The mean median survival at 60 months was 15 per cent for WLE and 14 per cent for APR. The mean disease-free survival at 60 months was found to be 10 per cent for WLE and 6 per cent for APR. Patient selection for such a rare neoplasm yields very similar outcomes for both conservative and radical treatments. There is a wide variation in the reporting of both clinical and treatment outcomes. More uniformity of reporting of pathologic features and node status is essential before rational assessment of results can be done.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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