Melanoma of the anorectal region. The experience of the National Cancer Institute of Milano

F. Belli, G. F. Gallino, S. Lo Vullo, L. Mariani, E. Poiasina, E. Leo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: This study describes the experience of the National Cancer Institute of Milano in the treatment of anorectal melanoma over the last 32 years. Methods: The influence of different surgical approaches on local care and final outcome was investigated on 40 completely evaluable patients, followed for a median follow-up time of 75 months. The analysis was carried out by calculating and comparing overall survival, disease-free survival and cumulative incidence curves of disease recurrence. Results: Thirty-one patients underwent radical surgery: nine abdominoperineal resections, four total rectal resections and coloendoanal anastomosis, and 18 local excisions. The remaining nine patients received palliative treatments. Median overall survival time for patients receiving non-radical treatments was poor: only 6 months. However, even when a radical surgery was undergone, the prognosis of patients with anal melanoma remains dismal. Local relapse incidence was 45.8% for the limited surgery group, but non-existent for the extended-surgery group (p = 0.007). However, the median disease-free survival time was 7 and 9 months for patients receiving limited or major surgery (p = 0.97). Overall survival was 17 months, irrespective of the adopted surgery. Conclusion: Prognosis of anal melanoma remains poor. Final outcome is not influenced by modality of surgery. A limited but radical excision can be considered whenever possible while a major demolitive surgery should be applied only for therapy of advanced or bulky lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-762
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009


  • Anorectal melanoma
  • Melanoma
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Surgery


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