Features associated with melanoma metastasis in Latvia

Dace Pjanova (Coresponding Author), Dace Ruklisa, Elza Kregere, Kristine Azarjana, Aija Ozola, Ingrida Cema

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Cutaneous melanoma (CM) is the most aggressive form of skin cancer, exhibits an increasing incidence worldwide and has a high potential to develop metastasis. The current study aimed to identify a set of parameters that may aid in predicting the probability and timing of the onset of CM metastasis. A retrospective analysis was performed using the archive data of 2,026 patients with CM that were treated at the Riga East University Hospital Latvian Oncology Centre, which is the largest oncological hospital in the country, between 1998 and 2015. A case-control study design was employed, where patients with metastasis (n=278) were used as the cases and patients without metastasis were used as the controls. The present study examined the associations between metastasis and potential risk factors and constructed multivariate models of features that predicted metastasis using stepwise regression. Time until metastasis was analyzed using negative binomial regression models. The results of the present study indicated an increase in the number of melanomas that developed metastases during 1998-2015. Tumor Breslow thickness was demonstrated to be significantly larger in patients with metastasis compared with those without (P=0.012). The presence of ulceration significantly increased the risk of metastases [odds ratio (OR), 1.66; 95% CI, 1.07-2.59; P=0.033]. The absence of pigment in melanoma tissues was indicated to lead to a greater likelihood of metastasis (OR, 2.14; 95% CI, 1.10-4.19; P=0.035). Shorter times from diagnosis until the onset of metastases were observed in older patients (incident rate ratio (IRR), 6.85; 95% CI, 2.43-19.30; P=2.78×10 -4), and a borderline significant association was observed in those with ulcerated tumors (IRR, 1.33; 95% CI, 0.98-1.80; P=0.064). Therefore, the main features associated with the development of melanoma metastasis in Latvia were indicated to be tumor ulceration, absence of pigment and Breslow thickness.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number11978
    JournalOncology Letters
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


    • Breslow thickness
    • Melanoma
    • Metastasis
    • Pigment
    • Prognosis
    • Survival
    • Ulceration

    Field of Science*

    • 3.2 Clinical medicine

    Publication Type*

    • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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