Risk of melanoma following adulthood cancer: a case-control study

Eur J Cancer. 2005 Dec;41(18):2904-10. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2005.07.020. Epub 2005 Oct 21.


Melanoma is a severe skin cancer related to sun exposure. Whether this malignancy is linked to exposure to ionising radiation during adulthood is still controversial. This case-control study examined the risk of melanoma following treatment for an adulthood first malignant neoplasm (FMN). Cases were patients who presented with cutaneous melanoma after a first cancer in adulthood. Controls (3 per case) were patients free of melanoma, matched for age, duration of follow-up since the FMN, type of FMN, and followed in the same institution. A total of 57 cases and 171 controls were included. In the final multivariate analysis, no risk of melanoma was associated with radiotherapy (odds ratio (OR) for 1 Gy = 1.01, 95% confidence interval (95%CI) 0.96-1.07) nor hormonotherapy, whereas chemotherapy use (OR = 2.3, 95%CI 0.93-5.6) and having a history of familial cancer (OR = 2.8, 95%CI 1.3-5.9) exhibited a nearly significant risk. In conclusion, unlike the evidence for risk of exposure to ionising radiation during childhood, we did not substantiate a risk for association of melanoma with exposure to ionising radiation during adulthood. The risk associated with chemotherapy should justify the implementation of skin surveillance for early detection of melanoma in these patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma / drug therapy
  • Melanoma / etiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / etiology*
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / etiology*
  • Radiotherapy / adverse effects
  • Skin Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Skin Neoplasms / etiology*