Context.—

Acral lentiginous melanoma is a rare and aggressive type of cutaneous melanoma that arises on the acral skin and the nail unit. The prognostic significance of subungual anatomic site in acral lentiginous melanoma is not established.

Objective.—

To assess the impact of subungual anatomic site on overall survival and disease-specific survival in acral lentiginous melanoma.

Design.—

Retrospective cohort analysis. Clinicopathologic characteristics of 627 primary acral lentiginous melanomas (45 [7%] subungual and 582 [93%] nonsubungual) were summarized, and the impact of these characteristics on overall survival and disease-specific survival was determined using univariate and multivariable analyses.

Results.—

No significant differences in clinicopathologic features were identified between the subungual and nonsubungual acral lentiginous melanomas. The 1-, 5-, and 10-year overall survival rates were 81%, 40%, and 28%, respectively, for subungual acral lentiginous melanoma and 94%, 59%, and 38%, respectively, for nonsubungual acral lentiginous melanoma (P = .04); risk of death was significantly higher for subungual tumors (hazard ratio [95% confidence interval] = 1.59 [1.02–2.50]; P = .04). The 1-, 5-, and 10-year disease-specific survival rates were 94%, 56%, and 48%, respectively, for subungual acral lentiginous melanoma versus 96%, 69%, and 55%, respectively, for nonsubungual acral lentiginous melanoma (P = .18). By multivariable analysis, independent poor prognostic factors included older age and ulceration for overall survival and greater Breslow thickness and sentinel lymph node positivity for overall survival and disease-specific survival. Subungual anatomic site was not an independent prognostic factor for overall or disease-specific survival.

Conclusions.—

Subungual anatomic site is not an independent prognostic factor for acral lentiginous melanoma.

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Author notes

Aung was supported by Institutional Start-Up Funding and an Institutional Research Grant from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and a grant from the Melanoma Research Alliance. Also supported by the National Cancer Institute under award number P30CA016672, which supports the MD Anderson Cancer Center Clinical Trials Support Resource.

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The authors have no relevant financial interest in the products or companies described in this article.

Supplementary data