Important facts about melanoma

Better known as the most dangerous of all known skin cancers, melanoma is a malignant neoplasm that can be present in any tissue in which cells originated from the neural crest migrated to other parts in the body. The cutaneous malignant melanoma originated from the melanocytes that are in the basal layer of the epidermis, can move and extend to more layers that are superficial.

At a worldwide level, Australia presents the highest incidence in melanoma. In which, commonly is present in people that are over 50 years, and most of them, are men.

In the USA, melanoma represents the fifth cancer more common in men and the sixth in women. Statistics showed that the incidence suffer an annual increase of 4.6% between 1975 and 1985, and the specialists were sure that the tendency was supposed to be lower between 1986 and 2007. In the other hand, some countries as Chile have one of the lowest mortality rate for melanoma.

In the other hand, the main common causes among these countries are some important risk factors:

  • Hormonal and reproductive factors: Scientists believed that hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, could stimulate the melanocytic proliferation. That’s why the relationship between the oral contraceptives, pregnancy and breast cancer.


  • Melanocytic nevus: The risk that these types of nevus represents depends on the size, number and localization. Approximately, in 25% of the cases occurs because of a pre-existent lesion. Also, could exist a direct relationship with the development of this type of nevus with the number of lesions, because if you have more than 10 lesions, more probably you will be developing that nevus.


  • Moreover, Family and personal history: If in the past you had melanoma or a different type of cancer, in any moment in the future, you have a high probability to develop a new type of melanoma. Also there is a strong relationship among different syndromes that are present in your family (family retinoblastoma, Li-Fraumeni Syndrome and Lynch Syndrome type 2, etc.)


The diagnosis can be clinical, in which the main objective is to educate to physicians and general population so the disease can be detected in early stages. Another useful tool is the Dermatoscopy, which has the advantage to amplifying the image (10X), improves the sensibility and specificity of the diagnosis in 71% to 90%. This tool allows the classification of the lesions in benign, suspicious or malignant; making it in the most useful diagnosis method.

Here in Althian we have a protocol that focus in a new approach to melanoma treatment. However, as many other drugs, there is the possibility of having some adverse events. Those adverse events need to be reported immediately and managed in a proper way. We have plenty experience managing protocols, so before the protocol starts, we have covered every aspect that involves the treatment of an adverse events. This is just a small example of what we know what to do in these type of situations. Please, contact us, and you will see how much experience we have, and that you can use to have a successful clinical trial.