ORIGINAL ARTICLESChanging biology of cutaneous melanomaPeric, Barbara; Zgajnar, Janez; Besic, Nikola; Hocevar, MarkoAuthor Information Department of Surgical Oncology, Institute of Oncology, Zaloška 2, Ljubljana, Slovenia Correspondence to Marko Hocevar, MD, PhD, Department of Surgical Oncology, Institute of Oncology, Zaloška 2, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia Tel: +386 1 5879 534; fax: +386 1 5879 407; e-mail: [email protected].si Received 18 March 2007 Accepted 20 January 2008 Melanoma Research: June 2008 - Volume 18 - Issue 3 - p 225-229 doi: 10.1097/CMR.0b013e3282f94651 Buy Metrics Abstract Survival of patients with cutaneous melanoma (CM) has improved significantly worldwide despite moderate treatment changes. The aim of our study was to determine whether the time period of diagnosis was an independent prognostic factor. The data of 1752 patients diagnosed with CM in Slovenia between 1983 and 1997 were analyzed. Cox proportional hazards model was used to assess the effect of multiple variables on survival. No significant decrease was observed in mean tumor thickness, whereas mean age at the time of diagnosis increased from 36.58 to 53.32 years. Multivariate analysis confirmed tumor thickness, age at the time of diagnosis, regional metastases and period of diagnosis as independent predictors of survival (P<0.0001). The most important independent predictor of survival of patients diagnosed with CM in the time period from 1983 to 1997 was the time of diagnosis. © 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.