Clinicopathologic characteristics and management trends of cutaneous invasive and in situ melanoma in older patients: A retrospective analysis of the National Cancer Data Base

Vijaya Raj Bhatt, Rajesh Shrestha, Jairam Krishnamurthy, Kailash Mosalpuria, Fausto R. Loberiza, Apar Kishor Ganti, Peter T. Silberstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Background: The incidence of melanoma in older patients is on the rise. Prior studies have shown disparities in surgical management and poor survival of older patients with melanoma. Methods: This is a retrospective study of adult patients diagnosed with cutaneous invasive and in situ melanoma between 2000 and 2011 in the National Cancer Data Base. Characteristics and management of older patients (≥60 years) were compared with younger patients (20–59 years) using χ2 testing. Results: Of 476,623 total cases, 54% (n = 258,153) were diagnosed among older patients. The reported cases in the older patients increased by 1.74-fold between 2000 and 2011. The majority were white (96%), men (65%), with early-stage disease (76% stage 0-II), and superficial spreading melanoma histology (39%). Older patients, compared with younger patients, were more likely to be men (65% versus 49%, p < 0.0001), and have in situ melanoma (28% versus 21%, p < 0.0001); less likely to have nodal metastases (7% versus 9%, p < 0.0001), receive care in academic centers (30% versus 35%, p < 0.0001), undergo wide excision or major amputation for stage I–III disease (68% versus 72%, p < 0.0001) and systemic therapy for stage III (18% versus 45%, p < 0.0001) and IV disease (30% versus 50%, p < 0.0001). Older patients with melanoma are less likely to receive care in academic centers, undergo wide excision for stage I–III disease and receive systemic therapy for stage III–IV disease. Particularly, the utilization of systemic therapy is markedly low. This disparity is particularly important with the availability of less intense more effective therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-11
Number of pages8
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Medical Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2015



  • academic medical center
  • age groups
  • cutaneous
  • melanoma
  • systemic therapy
  • wide excision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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