Metastatic melanoma to the palatine tonsil with a favourable prognosis

Br J Dermatol. 2001 Aug;145(2):327-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2133.2001.04326.x.


Metastasis to the oral cavity from cutaneous melanoma is rare: fewer than 30 cases of metastatic melanoma to the palatine tonsil have been reported. Tonsil metastasis is haematogenously disseminated and therefore usually has a poor prognosis. We present a case of metastatic melanoma to the palatine tonsil occurring 6(1/2) years after removal of the primary cutaneous lesion. The patient has remained disease-free for 18 months since the removal of skin and tonsil metastases. Immunohistopathologically, HLA class II and costimulatory factor B7-2 molecules were concomitantly expressed on melanoma cells: we suggest that the patient was therefore able to develop antimelanoma T-cell activation resulting in prevention of further metastasis, and thus a favourable prognosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antigens, CD / analysis
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / analysis
  • B7-2 Antigen
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma / immunology
  • Melanoma / secondary*
  • Melanoma / surgery
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / analysis
  • Prognosis
  • Skin Neoplasms / immunology
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / surgery
  • Tonsillar Neoplasms / immunology
  • Tonsillar Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Tonsillar Neoplasms / surgery


  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • B7-2 Antigen
  • CD86 protein, human
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Membrane Glycoproteins