The latest medical research on Melanoma

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about melanoma gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Credibility and Generalization of the Minimally Important Difference Concept in Dermatology: A Scoping Review.

JAMA Dermatology

The minimally important difference (MID) represents the point at which a difference in an outcome measure (eg, Dermatology Life Quality Index) is important enough that it warrants a change in treatment, and, to the authors' knowledge, the robustness and limitations of MIDs have not been thoroughly evaluated in skin diseases. The MID is increasingly used in clinical trials to demonstrate that an intervention is worthwhile for patients; furthermore, MIDs also contribute to sample size calculations in clinical trials, influence treatment guidelines, and can guide clinicians to modify treatment.

To evaluate the credibility and generalization of MIDs for patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) in skin disorders.

A systematic search was conducted in PubMed and Embase for all original articles using the MID concept for skin disorders from inception to December 29, 2021. The credibility of MIDs obtained via an anchor-based approach (eg, global rating of change scale) was assessed with a previously developed credibility instrument. The validity of generalizing established MIDs to other patient groups was evaluated based on the diagnosis and the patient characteristics.

A total of 126 articles were selected, and 84 different MIDs were identified for PROMs. A total of 13 of 84 MIDs (15.5%) for PROMs displayed acceptable credibility. The anchors used had varying capacity to assess minimal important changes from a patient's perspective and were deemed inappropriate for this purpose in 52 of 84 cases (61.9%). Correlations between the anchors and PROMs were frequently not determined (39 of 84; 46.4%). The time interval for anchor questions assessing a change in the experienced disease burden was not optimal for 10 of 32 transition anchors (>3 months), introducing potential recall bias. Previously reported MIDs were widely used to examine relevant changes in other study populations. However, the diagnosis and disease severity were different from the original MID population in 39 of 70 (55.7%) and 45 of 70 (64.3%) cases, respectively.

In this scoping review, only a minority of MIDs for PROMs demonstrated sufficient credibility in dermatology. Inappropriate generalization of previously reported MIDs to patient populations with different disease characteristics was found to be a major concern. Furthermore, the study supported the use of multiple anchors and encouraged consistent reporting of the correlation between changes in the anchor and changes in the outcome measures.

Assessment of the Genetic Spectrum of Uncombable Hair Syndrome in a Cohort of 107 Individuals.

JAMA Dermatology

Uncombable hair syndrome (UHS) is a rare hair shaft anomaly that manifests during infancy and is characterized by dry, frizzy, and wiry hair that cannot be combed flat. Only about 100 known cases have been reported so far.

To elucidate the genetic spectrum of UHS.

This cohort study includes 107 unrelated index patients with a suspected diagnosis of UHS and family members who were recruited worldwide from January 2013 to December 2021. Participants of all ages, races, and ethnicities were recruited at referral centers or were enrolled on their own initiative following personal contact with the authors. Genetic analyses were conducted in Germany from January 2014 to December 2021.

Clinical photographs, Sanger or whole-exome sequencing and array-based genotyping of DNA extracted from blood or saliva samples, and 3-dimensional protein modeling. Descriptive statistics, such as frequency counts, were used to describe the distribution of identified pathogenic variants and genotypes.

The genetic characteristics of patients with UHS were established in 80 of 107 (74.8%) index patients (82 [76.6%] female) who carried biallelic pathogenic variants in PADI3, TGM3, or TCHH (ie, genes that encode functionally related hair shaft proteins). Molecular genetic findings from 11 of these 80 individuals were previously published. In 76 (71.0%) individuals, the UHS phenotype were associated with pathogenic variants in PADI3. The 2 most commonly observed PADI3 variants account for 73 (48.0%) and 57 (37.5%) of the 152 variant PADI3 alleles in total, respectively. Two individuals carried pathogenic variants in TGM3, and 2 others carried pathogenic variants in TCHH. Haplotype analyses suggested a founder effect for the 4 most commonly observed pathogenic variants in the PADI3 gene.

This cohort study extends and gives an overview of the genetic variant spectrum of UHS based on molecular genetic analyses of the largest worldwide collective of affected individuals, to our knowledge. Formerly, a diagnosis of UHS could only be made by physical examination of the patient and confirmed by microscopical examination of the hair shaft. The discovery of pathogenic variants in PADI3, TCHH, and TGM3 may open a new avenue for clinicians and affected individuals by introducing molecular diagnostics for UHS.

Association Between Low-Dose Methotrexate Exposure and Melanoma: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

JAMA Dermatology

Methotrexate is widely used for the treatment of inflammatory disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis. Studies suggest that methotrexate may be associated with an increased risk of melanoma.

To determine whether methotrexate exposure is associated with an increased risk of cutaneous melanoma.

MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and were searched from inception to May 12, 2022, for eligible studies.

Case-control studies, cohort studies, or randomized clinical trials (RCTs) were included if they examined the odds or risk of cutaneous melanoma in individuals exposed to low-dose methotrexate in comparison with individuals unexposed. No language limitations were applied.

Two independent reviewers extracted data on study characteristics and outcome data. The Meta-analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology guidelines were followed. To assess study quality, the Cochrane risk of bias tool was used for RCTs, and the Joanna Briggs Institute Checklist was used for cohort and case-control studies. Odds ratio from case-control studies and relative risk or hazard ratio from cohort studies or RCTs were pooled, and a random-effects model meta-analysis was conducted.

Prespecified outcome was the odds ratio, hazard ratio, or risk ratio of cutaneous melanoma comparing low-dose methotrexate exposure with nonexposure.

Seventeen studies (8 RCTs, 5 cohort studies, 4 case-control studies) were eligible for inclusion, and of these, 12 studies with 16 642 cases of melanoma were pooled in the primary analysis. Indications for methotrexate included rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease and were unknown in 5 studies. Compared with unexposed individuals, study participants with methotrexate exposure had a small increased risk of melanoma (pooled relative risk, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.08-1.22), but this did not persist in a sensitivity analysis excluding the largest study (pooled relative risk, 1.11; 95% CI, 1.00-1.24). Subgroup analyses according to comparator group (comparing methotrexate exposure with either immunomodulator alone vs immunomodulator and methotrexate) or the indication for methotrexate being rheumatoid arthritis provided similar risk estimates. Using geographical population melanoma incidence rates, a number needed to harm of 18 630 was calculated in Australia, and 41 425 in North America.

In this systematic review and meta-analysis, low-dose methotrexate exposure was associated with an increased melanoma risk, but the absolute risk increase could be considered negligible.

Clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes of non-V600 E/K BRAF mutant melanoma patients: a single-institution experience.

Melanoma Research

The widespread use of more sensitive detection tools, such as next-generation sequencing, has increased the identification of a variety of BRAF mut...

Association of Risk of Incident Venous Thromboembolism With Atopic Dermatitis and Treatment With Janus Kinase Inhibitors: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

JAMA Dermatology

The risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) among patients with atopic dermatitis (AD), especially when receiving treatment with Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors, is unclear.

To determine the association of AD with incident VTE and evaluate the risk of incident VTE among patients with AD who were receiving treatment with JAK inhibitors.

The MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science databases were searched with no restrictions on language nor geographic locations from their respective inception to February 5, 2022.

Cohort studies examining the association of AD with incident VTE and randomized clinical trials (RCTs) reporting VTE events in participants with AD receiving JAK inhibitors were included. Around 0.7% of initially identified articles met the selection criteria.

The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guideline was followed. The risk of bias of included cohort studies and RCTs was assessed by the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale and the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool 2, respectively. A random-effects model meta-analysis was conducted to calculate the pooled hazard ratio (HR) and risk difference for incident VTE.

The HRs for incident VTE associated with AD and risk difference for incident VTE between participants with AD who were receiving treatment with JAK inhibitors and controls receiving placebo or dupilumab.

Two cohort studies and 15 RCTs with a total of 466 993 participants were included. The meta-analysis found no significant association of AD with incident VTE (HR, 0.95; 95% CI 0.62-1.45; incidence rate of VTE, 0.23 events/100 patient-years). Overall, 3 of 5722 patients with AD (0.05%) who were receiving treatment with JAK inhibitors experienced VTE compared with 1 of 3065 patients with AD (0.03%) receiving placebo or dupilumab (Mantel-Haenszel risk difference, 0; 95% CI, 0-0). The incidence rate of VTE was 0.15 and 0.12 events per 100 patient-years in participants with AD receiving JAK inhibitors and placebo, respectively. The findings were similar in 4 unique JAK inhibitors (abrocitinib, baricitinib, upadacitinib, and SHR0302).

The results of this systematic review and meta-analysis suggest that the currently available evidence does not detect an increased risk of VTE associated with AD or treatment with JAK inhibitors. These findings may provide a reference for clinicians in prescribing JAK inhibitors for patients with AD.

Clinical and Pathological Characteristics and Outcomes Among Patients With Subcutaneous Panniculitis-like T-Cell Lymphoma and Related Adipotropic Lymphoproliferative Disorders.

JAMA Dermatology

There is a knowledge gap about subcutaneous panniculitis-like T-cell lymphoma (SPTCL) owing to its rarity and diagnostic difficulty, resulting in an absence of well-documented large case series published to date.

To generate consensus knowledge by a joint multi-institutional review of SPTCL and related conditions.

This retrospective clinical and pathological review included cases initially diagnosed as SPTCL at 6 large US academic centers. All cases were reviewed by a group of pathologists, dermatologists, and oncologists with expertise in cutaneous lymphomas. Through a process of group consensus applying defined clinical and pathological diagnostic criteria, the cohort was classified as (1) SPTCL or (2) adipotropic lymphoproliferative disorder (ALPD) for similar cases with incomplete histopathological criteria for SPTCL designation.

Cases of SPTCL diagnosed between 1998 and 2018.

The main outcome was disease presentation and evolution, including response to therapy, disease progression, and development of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis.

The cohort of 95 patients (median [range] age, 38 [2-81] years; female-to-male ratio, 2.7) included 75 cases of SPTCL and 20 cases of ALPD. The clinical presentation was similar for both groups with multiple (61 of 72 [85%]) or single (11 of 72 [15%]) tender nodules mostly involving extremities, occasionally resulting in lipoatrophy. Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) was only observed in SPTCL cases. With a mean follow-up of 56 months, 60 of 90 patients (67%) achieved complete remission with a median (range) of 3 (1-7) cumulative therapies. Relapse was common. None of the patients died of disease progression or HLH. Two patients with ALPD eventually progressed to SPTCL without associated systemic symptoms or HLH.

In this case series of patients initially diagnosed as having SPTCL, results showed no evidence of systemic tumoral progression beyond the adipose tissue. The SPTCL experience in this study confirmed an indolent course and favorable response to a variety of treatments ranging from immune modulation to chemotherapy followed by hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Morbidity was primarily associated with HLH.

Melanoma risk during immunomodulating treatment.

Melanoma Research

Immunosuppressive therapy is standard for the treatment of inflammatory diseases and for minimizing rejection in transplant patients. However, immu...

Shared Decision-Making, Therapeutic Choice, and Decisional Regret in Patients With Alopecia Areata.

JAMA Dermatology

Alopecia areata (AA) is an autoimmune disorder of hair loss with a complex and evolving treatment landscape, making it an ideal setting for shared decision-making (SDM) between patients and physicians. Given the varying efficacy, experience, and risks of treatments for AA, we sought to evaluate patient preferences for SDM and the association of SDM with decisional regret.

To evaluate patient preferences for SDM and the association of SDM with decisional regret.

A cross-sectional online survey using the validated SDMQ9 scale for shared decision-making and Decisional Regret Scale (DRS) was distributed using the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF) with the aim of assessing (1) patient preferences in SDM when making treatment decisions, (2) how patients perceived the last decision to have been made, (3) which components of SDM were incorporated into the last decision, and (4) decisional regret related to their last treatment decision. The survey was distributed from July 12, 2021, to August 2, 2021, and data analysis occurred from October 2021 to March 2022.

Primary outcomes included (1) patient preferences in incorporation of SDM, (2) how patients made their most recent treatment decision, (3) which components of SDM were incorporated into their most recent treatment decision measured with the validated SDMQ9, and (4) an assessment of decisional regret in relation to SDM components and the most recent treatment modality used by the patient as measured by the validated DRS.

Of 1387 individuals who initiated the survey, 1074 completed it and were included in the analysis (77.4% completion rate). Overall, 917 respondents were women (85.4%). There were 5 American Indian or Alaska Native respondents (0.5%), 33 were Asian (3.1%), 112 Black or African American (10.4%), 836 White (77.8%), and 36 were multiracial (3.4%) or other (36 [3.4%]). The mean age (SD) was 49.3 (15.4) years. Most respondents preferred making the final treatment decision themselves after considering their physician's opinion (503 [46.8%]). Of those who preferred to make treatment decisions using SDM, most made the last AA treatment decision with their physician (596 [55%]; 95% CI, 53%-58%; P < .001). The components of SDM implemented by the patients' dermatologists most identified were the physician "explained the advantages and disadvantages of treatment options" (472 [44%]), and the physician "asked me which treatment option I prefer" (494 [45.9%]). Incorporation of SDM by physicians was generally associated with decreased decisional regret (all ORs with 95% CIs greater than 1.1; P < .01). The treatments associated with the lowest decisional regret were Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors, followed by biologics, and deciding not to treat; whereas, the highest decisional regret was reported with anthralin and minoxidil.

The findings of this cross-sectional survey study suggest that patients with AA prefer to make treatment decisions with their dermatologist using SDM. When SDM is used, patients report less decisional regret, indicating that SDM may help improve the patient-reported quality of treatment decisions. Newer, more efficacious therapies such as JAK inhibitors may be related to lower decisional regret. Future studies should seek to devise solutions to implement SDM as the AA treatment landscape continues to evolve.

Correlation of MRI signal characteristics of intracranial melanoma metastases with BRAF mutation status.

Melanoma Research

BRAF V600 mutations (BRAFmut) are associated with more pigmentation in primary melanomas, but data on melanin content of metastases are limited. Th...

Variance from published guidelines and changes in temporal trends in the management of cutaneous malignant melanoma: a 5-year update.

Melanoma Research

This study aimed to assess the current management of melanoma from relative to present guidelines and determine changes 5 years ago. An eight-quest...

Vitamin D deficiency in melanoma patients is associated with worse overall survival: a retrospective cohort study.

Melanoma Research

Recent interest has emerged in the protective role of vitamin D in melanoma survival and is the subject of multiple studies with heterogeneous resu...

Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines for Laser-Assisted Drug Delivery.

JAMA Dermatology

Laser-assisted drug delivery (LADD) is used for various medical and cosmetic applications. However, there is insufficient evidence-based guidance to assist clinicians performing LADD.

To develop recommendations for the safe and effective use of LADD.

A systematic literature review of Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Embase, and MEDLINE was conducted in December 2019 to identify publications reporting research on LADD. A multidisciplinary panel was convened to draft recommendations informed by the systematic review; they were refined through 2 rounds of Delphi survey, 2 consensus meetings, and iterative review by all panelists until unanimous consensus was achieved.

Of the 48 published studies of ablative fractional LADD that met inclusion criteria, 4 were cosmetic studies; 21, oncologic; and 23, medical (not cosmetic/oncologic), and 6 publications of nonablative fractional LADD were included at the request of the expert panel, producing a total of 54 studies. Thirty-four studies (63.0%) were deemed to have low risk of bias, 17 studies (31.5%) had moderate risk, and 3 (5.5%) had serious risk. The key findings that informed the guidelines developed by the expert panel were as follows: LADD is safe in adults and adolescents (≥12 years) with all Fitzpatrick skin types and in patients with immunosuppression; it is an effective treatment for actinic keratosis, cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma in situ, actinic cheilitis, hypertrophic scars, and keloids; it is useful for epidermal and dermal analgesia; drug delivery may be increased through the application of heat, pressure, or occlusion, or by using an aqueous drug solution; laser settings should be selected to ensure that channel diameter is greater than the delivered molecule; antibiotic prophylaxis is not recommended, except with impaired wound healing; antiviral prophylaxis is recommended when treating the face and genitalia; and antifungal prophylaxis is not recommended. The guideline's 15 recommendations address 5 areas of LADD use: (I) indications and contraindications; (II) parameters to report; (III) optimization of drug delivery; (IV) safety considerations; and (V) prophylaxis for bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.

This systematic review and Delphi consensus approach culminated in an evidence-based clinical practice guideline for safe and effective use of LADD in a variety of applications. Future research will further improve our understanding of this novel treatment technique.