Brain metastases of malignant melanoma in chinese: Report of 23 cases

Yi Chou Wang, Shih Tseng Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Patients with melanoma metastasized to the central nervous system have a poor prognosis. Because the incidence of malignant melanoma in the Oriental is lower than that in the Caucasian population, brain metastases of malignant melanoma are rarely reported in Asia. Here we present our experience of brain metastasis of melanoma in an Asian perspective. Methods: From 1990 to 2003, 369 patients with melanoma were treated in our hospital, 26 of them were diagnosed as having central nervous system involvement. Of the 26 cases, the clinical history, image, and pathologic findings of 23 patients were analyzed; the other 3 were excluded because of incomplete clinical data. Results: Among the 369 patients with melanoma, 45% (167/369) developed lower extremity melanoma, and 27.1% (100/369) had acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM); while in the 23 patients with brain metastases, 34.7% (8/ 23) had lower extremity melanoma, and 34.7% (8/23) had ALM. Among the 23 patients, 17 had acute hemorrhage into the tumor, 8 initially presented with a single cerebral metastatic lesion, and 15 had multiple brain lesions. Ten of them received surgery, 3 underwent stereotactic radiosurgery, and 16 received whole brain radiation. During follow-up, only 2 patients survived for more than 1 year, the median survival period was 5 months. The longest follow-up period was 11 years. Conclusions: Compared with the Caucasian, Chinese patients with melanoma have a different proportion of melanoma subtype and higher incidence rates of lower extremities melanoma and ALM. However, their clinical presentation and prognosis are similar. The patients, who have excisable single or multiple brain lesions or limited extracranial disease and who are actively treated, may survive longer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1058-1062
Number of pages5
JournalChinese Medical Journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - 06 2007


  • Asians
  • Brain metastasis
  • Melanoma


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