Melanoma in Children and Teenagers

  • Ines B. Brecht
  • Ira J. Dunkel
  • Claus GarbeEmail author
Living reference work entry


Melanoma occurs in all age groups. While under the age of 10 years melanoma is exceedingly rare, increasing numbers are seen within puberty and young adulthood. Under the age of 10 years, melanoma qualifies as an orphan disease, and the annual incidence is <2 per million; no clinical studies exist, evidence-based guidelines for diagnosis and treatment as well as information on biological behavior are scarce. Before puberty, melanoma often presents with atypical amelanotic or raised lesions and does not follow the ABCDE rule. Diagnosis is often challenging as no consensus criteria for “melanocytic tumors of uncertain malignant potential” (MELTUMP), atypical Spitz tumors, and true melanoma do exist. On the other hand, survival and risk factors are similar to those found in adults. While surgical and medical management still follows adult guidelines, there has been a better understanding of specific characteristics of pediatric melanoma, recently. First pediatric clinical studies have been conducted.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatric Oncology and HematologyEberhard Karls UniversityTuebingenGermany
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsMemorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Centre for DermatooncologyEberhard Karls UniversityTuebingenGermany

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