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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1997 May;121(5):508-11.

Maternal melanoma metastatic to the placenta: a case report and review of the literature.

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Department of Pathology, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, USA.


Metastases of maternal cancer to the placenta and fetus are rare in cases of maternal primary malignancy. This report describes a case of malignant melanoma metastatic to the placenta, reviews the literature, and discusses the clinical significance. A 33-year-old woman presented at 30 weeks' gestation with multiple metastases from a malignant melanoma diagnosed 4 years previously. Rapid maternal deterioration necessitated premature cesarean delivery, and maternal death occurred 7 days later. The placenta showed multiple metastases of malignant melanoma. The infant, however, is alive and well at 7 months of age. Melanoma in pregnancy rarely results in metastasis to the conceptus, but when it does occur there may be fatal consequences to the fetus. Therefore, the placenta should be thoroughly examined for metastasis, which, if present, should alert the clinician to monitor the infant for development of malignant disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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