Skip to main content
Desmoplastic Melanoma
The American Surgeon
  • Wyatt G. Payne
  • Robert Kearney
  • Karen Wells
  • Martin L. Blue
  • Mbaga S. Walusimbi, Wright State University
  • Gerald Mosiello
  • C. W. Cruse
  • Douglas Reintgen
Document Type
Publication Date
Desmoplastic melanoma is an uncommonly encountered variant of malignant melanoma. Three histological subtypes exist: desmoplastic, neurotropic, and neural transforming. Desmoplastic melanoma commonly presents in conjunction with existing melanocytic lesions or as an amelanotic firm nodule. Local recurrences are common. Thirty patients over a 6-year period were treated at our institution for desmoplastic melanoma. All lesions were treated with local excision. Local recurrence occurred in seven patients (23%) and was treated by aggressive re-excision in each instance. Clinical regional metastasis (lymph nodal basins) were detected in two patients (6%). Distant metastasis (lung) developed in two patients (6%). Twenty-three patients (76%) were found to have desmoplastic subtype, whereas five (17%) had neurotropic subtype. Six patients (20%) had associated pigmented melanotic lesions. Average length of follow-up has been 18 months. Overall survival is 96 per cent. Presentations and histologic diagnosis can sometimes be difficult and misleading. Treatment is aggressive local excision with follow-up necessary to detect resectable recurrent lesions.
Citation Information
Wyatt G. Payne, Robert Kearney, Karen Wells, Martin L. Blue, et al.. "Desmoplastic Melanoma" The American Surgeon Vol. 67 Iss. 10 (2001) p. 1004 - 1006 ISSN: 00031348
Available at: