Sarcoidosis and melanoma: a referral center study of 1,199 cases

Dermatology. 2009;219(1):25-31. doi: 10.1159/000213245. Epub 2009 Apr 10.


Background: Case reports and small short case series have described patients with sarcoidosis and melanoma.

Objectives: To examine the relation between sarcoidosis and melanoma.

Methods: Computerized search of all patients seen at our department of dermatology between 1998 and 2007 and review of the literature using a Medline search from 1985 to June 2008.

Results: We identified 7 cases in our population of 1,199 melanoma inpatients. Including these cases, 20 cases of sarcoidosis have been described in melanoma patients. Fifteen patients had their sarcoidosis diagnosed after melanoma. In 7 cases, sarcoidosis was related to immunotherapy. Sarcoidosis presented mainly as pulmonary disease without severe organ involvement, with a benign evolution.

Conclusion: Our referral center study shows a prevalence of sarcoidosis of 0.58% among melanoma inpatients. Clinicians should be aware of the possibility that sarcoidosis may initially manifest itself in melanoma patients, especially after treatment with immunotherapy, and mimic metastatic disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma / complications*
  • Melanoma / drug therapy
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Sarcoidosis / complications*
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / complications
  • Skin Diseases / complications
  • Skin Neoplasms / complications*
  • Skin Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Young Adult