Recently, a number of studies have demonstrated genetic components in the development of malignant melanoma. A major melanoma risk allele has been localized to chromosome 9p.1 Since multiple different types of malignancies frequently develop in cancer family syndromes, patients with melanoma may be at risk for having other tumors develop. Deletions in the region of 9p have also been found in patients with lung cancer and gliomas.2,3 The defective gene may act as a tumor suppressor gene. Other oncogenes like p53 have also been shown to be expressed in some melanomas.4 The p53 oncogene has been implicated in numerous malignancies like squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma.5 We retrospectively studied whether patients with melanoma had a higher incidence of neoplasms compared with a control population.
Data on melanoma and other tumors were obtained from the tumor registry at Pennsylvania State University Hospital, Hershey. Three
Helm KF, Bittenbender S. Coexisting Malignancies in Patients With Malignant Melanoma. Arch Dermatol. 1996;132(4):471-472. doi:10.1001/archderm.1996.03890280137024