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Journal of Oncology
Volume 2012, Article ID 647684, 9 pages
Clinical Study

Metastatic Behavior in Melanoma: Timing, Pattern, Survival, and Influencing Factors

Institute of Oncology, Istanbul University, 34390 Istanbul, Turkey

Received 10 October 2011; Accepted 24 April 2012

Academic Editor: Levent Beder

Copyright © 2012 Faruk Tas. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Metastatic melanoma (MM) is a fatal disease with a rapid systemic dissemination. This study was conducted to investigate the metastatic behavior, timing, patterns, survival, and influencing factors in MM. 214 patients with MM were evaluated retrospectively. Distant metastases (82%) were the most frequent for patients initially metastatic. The median and 1-year survival rates of initially MM patients were 10 months and 41%, respectively. The median time to metastasis for patients with localized disease was 28 months. The timing of appearance of metastases varied minimally; however, times to metastases for distant organs varied greatly. For the first metastatic pathway, more than half of the primary metastases were M1A (57%). These findings were in contrast to the results compared with those with metastatic in diagnosis ( 𝑃 < 0 . 0 0 1 ). The median and 1-year survival rates of all patients were 12 months and 49%, respectively. Outcome was higher in M1A than visceral metastases ( 𝑃 < 0 . 0 0 1 ). In conclusion, the fact that over half of all recurrences/metastases occurred within 3 years urges us to concentrate follow-up in the early time periods following diagnosis. Because the clinical behavior of MM is variable, the factors for survival consisting of site and number of metastases should be emphasized.