Not so ‘rare’ – an example of malignant melanoma in India: report from a tertiary cancer centre

16 Dec 2021
Bivas Biswas, Gautam Biswas, Sandip Ganguly, Joydeep Ghosh, Somnath Roy, Manas Kumar Roy, Amrit Pipara, Jagriti Karmakar, Navonil Mukherjee, Santam Chakraborty, Deepak Kumar Mishra, Divya Midha, Deepak Dabkara

Purpose: Malignant melanoma (MM) is rare in India. Indian data on demography and treatment outcome on advanced MM is very limited in the literature.

Materials & methods: This is a retrospective study of advanced MM treated between January 2013 and December 2020. We evaluated the clinicopathologic features, mutational profiles, survival outcome and prognostic factors in advanced MM patients.

Results: Out of a total 460 patients, 185 (42%) had metastatic disease at presentation and were enrolled in this study with a median age of 63 years (range: 28–93) and male:female ratio of 94:91. The mucosal primary was predominant (n = 110, 59%) than cutaneous primary (38%) and anorectum was the most common site (n = 84, 45%). Tumour mutational analysis was performed in 65 (35%) patients. BRAF mutations were detected in 12 patients and KIT mutations in 7 patients. Thirteen patients didn’t have any mutations and 22 patients had mutations other than KIT & BRAF. Only 59 (32%) patients took any systemic treatment – immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) in 17, temozolomide in 18 and paclitaxel/carboplatin in 18, tyrosine kinase inhibitors in 6 patients. After a median follow-up of 26 months (95% confidence interval (CI): 11.6–not reached), median progression-free survival (PFS) was 7.1 months (95% CI: 4.4–9.1) and median overall survival was 14.8 months (95% CI: 7.7–18.2 months). The use of ICI emerged as an only significant good prognostic factor (p ≤ 0.001) for PFS, on multivariate analysis.

Conclusion: Mucosal origin was more common than cutaneous primary with anorectum being the most common site. BRAF mutation was less as compared to published literature. Very few patients received systemic therapy and the use of ICI showed superior PFS.

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