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Cancer. 1997 Feb 15;79(4):843-8.

Cutaneous melanoma in patients with sarcoma.

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Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany.



The authors became interested in an association between cutaneous melanoma and sarcoma when they reviewed their experience with other malignancies occurring in patients with a diagnosis of sarcoma.


The authors identified 48 patients with both melanoma and bone or soft tissue sarcoma (STS) by a computer search of all sarcoma patients entered into their institution's cancer registry between 1943 and 1996 who had an additional diagnosis of melanoma. The medical records were reviewed and clinical and pathologic data collected.


The median age at diagnosis was 46 years for patients with melanoma and 50 years for patients with sarcoma, which was consistent with population-based data. Among patients with STS (n = 41), malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNT) were more common in patients with both diagnoses (5 of 41; 13%) when compared with all adults with STS admitted to the study center between 1982 to date (125 of 2901; 4%; P < 0.05). Liposarcoma occurred in only 1 patient with both melanoma and STS (1 of 41; 2%), despite the fact that it was the most common histologic diagnosis in all adults with STS (625 of 2901; 22%; P < 0.001). The anatomic site of STS was more commonly visceral (11 of 41; 27%) when compared with all adults with STS (424 of 2901; 15%; P < 0.05). A positive family history of cancer was noted in 50% of the patients, and 25% of patients had a third primary tumor.


Although a distinct "melanoma/sarcoma" syndrome was not identified, MPNT as well as visceral sarcomas were more common than expected in this study. The authors also noted strong family histories of cancer as well as additional primary malignancies in patients with melanoma and sarcoma, suggesting a predisposition toward cancer.

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