Cutaneous melanoma: estimating survival and recurrence risk based on histopathologic features

Dermatol Ther. 2005 Sep-Oct;18(5):369-85. doi: 10.1111/j.1529-8019.2005.00044.x.


The prognosis of melanoma is best understood in terms of a model of tumor progression, in which most melanomas may evolve through two major phases of progression: from a lesion that is nontumorigenic and has little or no capacity for metastasis; to a more advanced lesion that is tumorigenic and may have capacity for metastasis. The likelihood of metastasis varies with a number of attributes of the primary melanoma, including the phase of progression, the Breslow tumor thickness, mitotic rate, and host response to the tumorigenic compartment of the lesion, Clark's level of invasion, and other factors. When distant metastasis has occurred, the prognosis for the patient is very poor. In this monograph, the focus will be the discussion of factors related to the prognosis of melanomas that at diagnosis are clinically localized to the primary site.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Melanoma* / mortality
  • Melanoma* / pathology
  • Melanoma* / secondary
  • Prognosis
  • Skin Neoplasms* / mortality
  • Skin Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Survival Rate