Youth Linked to Melanoma Survival

Melanoma is rare in children and is usually treated as it is in adults. However, this skin cancer behaves differently in young people. To pinpoint the differences and their significance for survival in these patients, researchers created an international registry of children with melanoma. The registry includes 365 children between ages 1 and 21 years who were diagnosed with melanoma between 1953 and 2008. While the numbers are too small to be sure, a new analysis of this registry suggests that 10-year survival is higher in younger children: 100% for up to age 10 years versus 70% to 80% for between ages 10 and 20 years. That said, the analysis failed to identify differences in childhood and adult melanoma, prompting the researchers to call for expanding this registry as well as for more rigorous collecting of information on the melanomas.