Rate of growth in melanomas: characteristics and associations of rapidly growing melanomas

Wendy Liu, John P Dowling, William K Murray, Grant A McArthur, John F Thompson, Rory St John Wolfe, John W Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

255 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To investigate the spectrum of growth rates in melanomas and to identify clinical associations of rapidly growing melanomas. Design: Clinical interview, skin examination, and pathology review. Setting: Three tertiary melanoma referral centers and 2 private dermatology practices. Patients: A total of 404 consecutive patients with invasive primary cutaneous melanomas. Main Outcome Measure: A surrogate for rate of growth in primary invasive melanoma was calculated as the ratio of Breslow thickness to time to melanoma development based on a previously reported assessment tool. Results: One third of the melanomas grew 0.5 mm per month or more. The median monthly growth rate was 0.12 mm for superficial spreading melanomas, 0.13 mm for lentigo maligna melanomas, and 0.49 mm for nodular melanomas. Rapid tumor growth was associated with tumor thickness (4 mm, GMR = 12.1) and mitotic rate (10/mm(2), GMR=9.7). Rapid tumor growth occurred more often in mates (GMR = 1.7), elderly individuals (>= 70 years old, GMR=2.8), and patients with fewer melanocytic nevi (n
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1551 - 1558
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Dermatology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Cite this