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Cutaneous melanoma (CM) is potentially the most dangerous form of skin tumour and causes 90% of skin cancer mortality. A unique collaboration of multi-disciplinary experts from the European Dermatology Forum (EDF), the European Association of Dermato-Oncology (EADO) and the European Organization of Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) was formed to make recommendations on CM diagnosis and treatment, based on systematic literature reviews and the experts' experience. Diagnosis is made clinically and staging is based upon the AJCC system. CMs are excised with one to two centimetre safety margins. Sentinel lymph node dissection (SLND) is routinely offered as a staging procedure in patients with tumours more than 1mm in thickness, although there is as yet no clear survival benefit for this approach. Interferon-α treatment may be offered to patients with stage II and III melanoma as an adjuvant therapy, as this treatment increases at least the disease-free survival (DFS) and less clear the overall survival (OS) time. The treatment is however associated with significant toxicity. In distant metastasis, all options of surgical therapy have to be considered thoroughly. In the absence of surgical options, systemic treatment is indicated. BRAF inhibitors like vemurafenib for BRAF mutated patients as well as the CTLA-4 antibody ipilimumab offer new therapeutic opportunities apart from conventional chemotherapy. Therapeutic decisions in stage IV patients should be primarily made by an interdisciplinary oncology team ('tumour board').

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.ejca.2012.06.013

Type

Journal article

Journal

Eur J Cancer

Publication Date

10/2012

Volume

48

Pages

2375 - 2390

Keywords

Combined Modality Therapy, European Union, Humans, Lymph Node Excision, Male, Melanoma, Neoplasm Staging, Prognosis, Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy, Skin Neoplasms, Treatment Outcome