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Stage-specific survival and recurrence in patients with cutaneous malignant melanoma in Europe – a systematic review of the literature

Authors Costa Svedman F, Pillas D, Taylor A, Kaur M, Linder R, Hansson J

Received 23 October 2015

Accepted for publication 15 February 2016

Published 26 May 2016 Volume 2016:8 Pages 109—122


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Henrik Toft Sørensen

Fernanda Costa Svedman,1 Demetris Pillas,2 Aliki Taylor,2 Moninder Kaur,2 Ragnar Linder,3 Johan Hansson1

Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital Solna, Stockholm, Sweden; 2Centre for Observational Research, Amgen Ltd, Uxbridge, UK; 3IMS Health Sweden, Stockholm, Sweden

Background: Given the increasing incidence in cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) and the recent changes in the treatment landscape, it is important to understand stage-specific overall and recurrence-free survival patterns in Europe. Despite publications such as EUROCARE-5, there is limited information on stage-specific survival for CMM in Europe.
Method: We carried out a systematic literature review to provide an up-to-date summary of stage-specific survival and recurrence-free survival patterns in patients with CMM in Europe. Studies were included if they were published in Medline during the past 12 years and included information on stage-specific survival and/or recurrence in CMM.
Results: Of the 8,749 studies identified, 26 studies were included, representing nine countries. Collectively, the studies covered a population of 152,422 patients and included data from 1978 to 2011. Randomized clinical trials and single-center observational studies comprised the most common study designs, including five large registry-based studies. Stage-specific information for survival and recurrence varied: 5-year overall survival: 95%–100% (stage I), 65%–92.8% (stage II), 41%–71% (stage III), and 9%–28% (stage IV); 5-year relapse-free survival was reported less frequently: 56% (stage II), and 28%–44% (stage III). Studies reporting survival by sentinel node (SN) status reported 5-year overall survival as 80%–95% for negative SN (stage I/II) and 35%–75% for positive SN (stage III) status; recurrence-free survival at 5 years: 76%–90% for negative and 35%–58% for positive SN status. Some studies included comparisons of survival by key patient sociodemographic characteristics, suggesting that these have a substantial influence on survival and recurrence estimates.
Conclusion: The studies identified in this review show large variations in stage-specific overall and recurrence-free survival by study type and by country. Owing to differing study designs and populations, it is difficult to make detailed comparisons. Large population-based studies that include stage-specific survival and recurrence in Europe are therefore important.

Keywords: cutaneous malignant melanoma, cancer, survival, recurrence, Europe, stage

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