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Int J Cancer. 2002 Nov 20;102(3):266-8.

Relationship of uveal and cutaneous malignant melanoma in persons with multiple primary tumors.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology, University of Washington School of Medicine, 1959 NE Pacific Street, Seattle, WA 98195-6524, USA.


Uveal and cutaneous melanomas differ in tumor biology, immunophenotypes and the demographic correlates of their occurrence. As a means to examine the possibility of some shared etiologic factors, we wished to learn if the 2 cancers occurred in the same individual more often than would be expected by chance. Data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program from 1973-1998 were utilized for this purpose. The number of persons who went on to develop a second melanoma was compared to that expected based on the incidence of each type of melanoma in the general population, after adjusting for age, sex, calendar year and residence. Given an initial cutaneous melanoma, there was a 10-fold increased risk of developing a second cutaneous melanoma (95% confidence interval [CI] = 9.4-10.6). Persons with uveal melanoma went on to develop cutaneous melanoma 4.6 times (95% CI = 2.9-6.8) more often than the population at large. In contrast, persons with cutaneous melanoma were not subsequently diagnosed with uveal melanoma at an appreciably elevated rate (standardized incidence ratio [SIR] = 1.4; 95% CI = 0.5-3.0). While these data offer some support for the hypothesis that uveal and cutaneous melanomas have 1 or more etiologies in common, the lack of symmetry in the pattern of second uveal and second cutaneous melanomas remains unexplained.

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