Gender differences in pediatric and adolescent melanoma: A retrospective analysis of 4645 cases

Jennifer M. Fernandez, Jenna E. Koblinski, Sabrina Dahak, Clara Curiel-Lewandrowski, Rebecca Thiede

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: There is paucity of data on how gender impacts melanoma prognosis in pediatric and adolescent patients. Objectives: This study explores gender differences in presentation and survival among pediatric and adolescent patients with melanoma. Methods: The National Cancer Database 2004-2018 was queried for cases of primary invasive cutaneous melanoma in pediatric and adolescent patients (birth to 21 years) for a retrospective cohort study. Results: Of the 4645 cases, 63.4% were female. Median Breslow depth was 1.05 mm for males (interquartile range 0.50-2.31) and 0.80 mm for females (interquartile range 0.40-1.67; P < .001). Trunk was the most common primary site for females (34.3%) and males (32.9%). More females than males were diagnosed with stage I disease (67.8% vs 53.6%). Males had higher rates of regional lymph node positivity (27.9% vs 18.1%; P < .001) and ulceration (17.1% vs 11.4%; P < .001). Five-year overall survival was 95.9% for females and 92.0% for males (P < .001). After adjusting for confounders, male gender independently increased mortality risk (reference: females; adjusted hazard ratio 1.57; 95% confidence interval 1.32-1.86). Limitations: Retrospective study. Conclusion: Males exhibited more aggressive pathologic features including greater Breslow thickness and higher ulceration and lymph node positivity rates. Male gender independently increased mortality risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-287
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • National Cancer Database
  • adolescent
  • children
  • female
  • gender
  • male
  • malignancy
  • melanoma
  • pediatric
  • sex
  • skin cancer
  • survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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