• desmoplastic melanoma;
  • epidemiology;
  • incidence;
  • survival

Background: Desmoplastic melanoma (DM) represents a relatively rare malignancy. The aim of this study was to describe the incidence and survival of DM in the United States.

Methods: Incidence and survival data were obtained from the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program, 1992–2007. Kaplan–Meier and Cox proportional hazards regression methods were used to calculate the survival rates and hazard ratios for DM-specific death.

Results: We identified 1129 DM patients from SEER 13 registries, with 64% in men, 37% in women and most (96.8%) occurring in White populations. The incidence rates per 1,000,000 were 1.3 (female), 3.0 (male) and 2.0 (both). The annual percentage change for incidence was 4.6 (95% confidence interval: 2.9–6.5) from 1992 to 2007. The 5-year and 10-year DM-specific survival rates from SEER 17 registries were 84.8 and 79.2%. The 5-year DM-specific survival rates by stage ranged from 90.9% (local) to 51.5% (distant). Independent predictors of mortality from DM included age, anatomic site, thickness, ulceration, lymph node and surgery.

Conclusions: The incidence of DM has been increasing steadily over the past 15 years. Older age, anatomic site of the head and neck, tumor thickness >2 mm, ulceration, lymph node involvement and non-receipt of surgery are associated with lower survival.

Feng Z, Wu X, Chen V, Velie E, Zhang Z. Incidence and survival of desmoplastic melanoma in the United States, 1992–2007.