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Association of known melanoma risk factors with primary melanoma of the scalp and neck


Wood, RP and Heyworth, JS and McCarthy, NS and Mauguen, A and Berwick, M and Thomas, NE and Millward, MJ and Anton-Culver, H and Cust, AE and Dwyer, T and Gallagher, RP and Gruber, SB and Kanetsky, PA and Orlow, I and Rosso, S and Moses, EK and Begg, CB and Ward, SV, Association of known melanoma risk factors with primary melanoma of the scalp and neck, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, 29, (11) pp. 2203-2210. ISSN 1055-9965 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 American Association for Cancer Research

DOI: doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-0595


Background: Scalp and neck (SN) melanoma confers a worse prognosis than melanoma of other sites but little is known about its determinants. We aimed to identify associations between SN melanoma and known risk genes, phenotypic traits, and sun exposure patterns.

Methods: Participants were cases from the Western Australian Melanoma Health Study (n = 1,200) and the Genes, Environment, and Melanoma Study (n = 3,280). Associations between risk factors and SN melanoma, compared with truncal and arm/leg melanoma, were investigated using binomial logistic regression. Facial melanoma was also compared with the trunk and extremities, to evaluate whether associations were subregion specific, or reflective of the whole head/neck region.

Results: Compared with other sites, increased odds of SN and facial melanoma were observed in older individuals [SN: OR = 1.28, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.92-1.80, P trend = 0.016; Face: OR = 4.57, 95% CI = 3.34-6.35, P trend < 0.001] and those carrying IRF4-rs12203592*T (SN: OR = 1.35, 95% CI = 1.12-1.63, P trend = 0.002; Face: OR = 1.29, 95% CI = 1.10-1.50, P trend = 0.001). Decreased odds were observed for females (SN: OR = 0.49, 95% CI = 0.37-0.64, P < 0.001; Face: OR = 0.66, 95% CI = 0.53-0.82, P < 0.001) and the presence of nevi (SN: OR = 0.66, 95% CI = 0.49-0.89, P = 0.006; Face: OR = 0.65, 95% CI = 0.52-0.83, P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Differences observed between SN melanoma and other sites were also observed for facial melanoma. Factors previously associated with the broader head and neck region, notably older age, may be driven by the facial subregion. A novel finding was the association of IRF4-rs12203592 with both SN and facial melanoma.

Impact: Understanding the epidemiology of site-specific melanoma will enable tailored strategies for risk factor reduction and site-specific screening campaigns.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Oncology and carcinogenesis
Research Field:Cancer cell biology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Diagnosis of human diseases and conditions
UTAS Author:Moses, EK (Professor Eric Moses)
ID Code:141942
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2020-12-03
Last Modified:2022-08-29

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