Women with localized melanoma have a consistent advantage over men of approximately 30 percent for survival and progression, according to a study published online April 30 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Arjen Joosse, M.D., from the Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands, and colleagues examined the female advantage across multiple end points in four phase III randomized adjuvant treatment trials conducted by the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Melanoma Group. A total of 2,672 patients diagnosed with stage I/II melanoma were included in the analyses.
The researchers identified a consistent and independent survival advantage for women in overall and disease-specific survival (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 0.70 and 0.74, respectively), and in time to lymph node and distant metastasis (aHR, 0.70 and 0.69, respectively). The survival advantage for female patients was consistent in both pre- and postmenopausal age groups and across all prognostic subgroups (except possibly for head and neck melanomas).
"Women have a consistent and independent relative advantage in all aspects of the progression of localized melanoma of approximately 30 percent, most likely caused by an underlying biologic sex difference," the authors write.
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For more information on melanoma, read the column "Melanoma in Skin of Color."