A computer-aided retrospective analysis was performed on 359 patients with stage I and II melanoma at the time of diagnosis (disease confined to the primary melanoma), at the University of South Florida (Tampa, FL). Eighteen patients were identified with primary melanoma in acral locations, most being acral lentiginous melanoma. A comparison of actuarial survival curves of patients with melanoma in four different locations (acral, head and neck, trunk, and other extremity site) was performed. The patients with melanoma in acral locations did not have a statistically different actuarial survival than those with primary melanoma in other sites. When actuarial disease-free survival curves were constructed, however, acral primary melanoma had a shorter interval to recurrence than those located on the trunk or other extremity sites. Differences between actuarial disease-free survival for the head and neck and for acral primary sites were not significant. To identify prognostic factors responsible for the decreased disease-free survival of the acral lentiginous population, a regression analysis was performed. Three prognostic factors were analyzed for stage I and II melanoma, including Breslow tumor thickness, ulceration of the primary lesion, and primary site location. In the univariate analysis, with each prognostic factor acting independently, tumor thickness (p < 0.01) and ulceration (p = 0.02) were significant variables influencing the disease-free interval. Primary site did not, however, add prognostic information to the model (p = 0.54). A stepwise multivariate analysis confirmed this finding.
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