• renal cell carcinoma;
  • melanoma;
  • genetic predisposition;
  • multiple primary neoplasms;
  • familial melanoma



Patients with melanoma (MM) have an increased risk of kidney cancer, and there is an excess risk of MM among patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC). The objective of the current study was to analyze a series of 42 patients with both MM and RCC to identify clinical and pathologic features as well as risk factors of this association.


Clinical and pathologic characteristics of 42 patients who developed both MM and RCC (the MM + RCC series) were compared with 2 published series in each cancer alone: a series of 293 patients with MM (MM series) and a series of 1527 patients with RCC (RCC series).


RCC was diagnosed concomitantly or after MM in 83% of patients in the MM + RCC series. Those patients displayed a high proportion of asymptomatic RCC at diagnosis (70%) and a higher frequency of stage I tumors (61%) than patients in the RCC series. Compared with the MM series, patients in the MM + RCC series more often were men, had a higher frequency of blond/red hair, had poor tanning ability, and had a higher number of nevi. In addition, patients in the MM + RCC series had a high aggregation of other malignancies (mainly skin cancers) and a significantly higher frequency of family history of MM (P = .005). Only 2 cyclin-dependent kinase 2A gene (CDKN2A) germline mutations were identified among patients in the MM + RCC series who also were members of MM-prone families.


The high aggregation of cancers among patients in the MM + RCC series and the familial clustering of MM argued for a genetic predisposition that may be partly independent of CDKN2A. Cancer 2010. © 2010 American Cancer Society.