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Gender differences in melanoma prognostic factors

  • Author(s): Farahi, Jessica M;
  • Fazzari, Melissa;
  • Braunberger, Taylor;
  • Caravaglio, Joseph V;
  • Kretowicz, Alexandra;
  • Wells, Keith;
  • Dellavalle, Robert P;
  • Norris, David;
  • Alkousakis, Theodore
  • et al.

Background: Although previous studies identify gender differences in melanoma, limited research on the phenomenon exists.Methods: In this retrospective chart review, 1,156 adults diagnosed with melanoma, between 2006-2016, at the University of Colorado were included. Breslow depth, mitotic rate, ulceration status, and location were extracted from charts between March and August 2016. Cochran-Armitage trend tests and cumulative logistic regression were used to examine the association between gender and Breslow depth, univariately and after adjusting for potential confounders.

Results: In univariate analysis, males were significantly more likely to present with lesions with higher Breslow depths (p for trend=0.005). In models adjusted for age, melanoma subtype, and location, males were marginally more likely to present with lesions with higher Breslow depths (cumulative OR: 1.261, 95% CI: 0.988-1.611, p=0.060). Males were also marginally more likely to present with lesions with higher mitotic rates, after further adjustments for all other prognostic factors (cumulative OR: 1.244, 95% CI: 0.979-1.580, p=0.074).

Limitations: This was a retrospective single-institution study.

Conclusion: Differences in mitotic rates among melanomas in males versus females, even after adjustments for all other prognostic factors, suggests that biological differences may contribute to the female prognosis advantage.

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