Malignant Melanoma in a Retrospective Cohort of Immunocompromised Patients: A Statistical and Pathologic Analysis

Trevor F. Killeen, Ryan Shanley, Vidhyalakshmi Ramesh, Alessio Giubellino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Malignant melanoma is the leading cause of death due to cutaneous malignancy. Immunocompromised individuals have an elevated risk of developing melanoma. We aimed to provide histopathologic and statistical characterization of melanoma development in immunocompromised patients. Methods: We reviewed our institution’s databases to identify all patients with a confirmed history of immunosuppression who subsequently developed melanoma, focusing on diagnoses during the follow-up period of 2011–2019. A total of 93 patients with a combined 111 melanoma lesions were identified. Results: Common causes of immunosuppression included transplantation and lymphoproliferative disorders. Superficial spreading and lentigo malignant melanoma were the most common malignant melanoma subtypes. Median Breslow depth was 0.7 mm, and the most common primary tumor stage was T1a. Our transplant sub-cohort had an overall melanoma incidence of 0.9 per 1000 person-years (95% CI 0.66 to 1.20) and a standardized incidence ratio (SIR) of 1.53 (95% CI 1.12 to 2.04) relative to a general population cohort from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER). Conclusions: We report histopathologic characteristics of immunocompromised patients developing melanoma at a large academic tertiary-care center. Differences in age, sex, time since transplantation, and transplant type may play a significant role in melanoma SIR in this patient demographic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3600
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • bone marrow transplant
  • immunocompromised
  • immunosuppression
  • melanoma
  • solid organ transplant

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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