Prognostic significance of acral lentiginous histologic type in T1 melanoma

Academic Article


  • Acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM) is a rare type of cutaneous melanoma with a poor prognosis. It is unclear whether the poor outcome of ALM is due to its inherent disease characteristics or advanced stage at initial diagnosis. To address this question, we retrospectively analyzed the clinicopathologic factors of 828 thin (T1; Breslow thickness ≤1.0 mm) melanomas [129 (15.6%) ALMs and 699 (84.4%) non-ALMs] and their nodal and distance metastases and local recurrence rates and determined their relationship with the disease-specific (DSS), overall (OS), and recurrence-free survivals (RFS) at the pathologic stages T1, T1a, and T1b with a median follow-up time of 84.5 months. With the exception of OS at T1b stage, ALM patients showed significantly lower 5- and 10-year DSS, OS, and RFS rates at every pathologic stage when compared with non-ALM. In multivariable analysis, ALM histologic type, SLN positivity, age, and the use of systemic therapy were detected as independent poor prognostic factors associated with significantly lower survival rates. ALM histologic type was associated with lower DSS and OS rates at T1 and T1a stages and lower RFS rates at T1b stage. SLN positivity was associated with lower DSS, OS, and RFS rates at T1, T1a, and T1b stages. Age was associated with lower OS rates at T1 and T1b stages. Whereas the use of systemic therapy was associated with lower DSS rates at T1a stage and RFS rates at T1b stage. In addition, the ALM group showed significantly older median age patients and higher rates of female sex, Hispanic ethnicity, nevoid cytology, non-brisk tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, nodal metastasis, and local recurrence at every pathologic stage of thin melanoma. Our findings suggest that ALM is inherently more aggressive than other types of cutaneous melanoma. This information may be useful for prognostic stratification of patients with thin melanomas, especially to help guide the clinical decision-making for SLN biopsy and patients entering clinical trials.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Modern Pathology  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 2341454
  • Author List

  • Mejbel HA; Torres-Cabala CA; Milton DR; Ivan D; Feldmeyer L; Namikawa K; Nagarajan P; Tetzlaff MT; Curry JL; Ross MI
  • Start Page

  • 572
  • End Page

  • 583
  • Volume

  • 34
  • Issue

  • 3