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CLL Patients at Higher Risk of Melanoma

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Survivors of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) have an increased risk of developing melanoma and therefore should be screened with vigilance for early detection of the disease. These results were recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Researchers recently conducted a study in an attempt to identify possible risk factors for an increased risk of melanoma among patients with NHL and CLL. The study included 44,870 1-year survivors of NHL/CLL derived from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare database.

Patients with CLL had the highest risk of developing melanoma
Among CLL patients, those treated with fludarabine-containing therapy had a significantly increased risk of developing melanoma compared to other used treatments.
Furthermore, autoimmune diseases associated with T-cell activating autoimmune diseases were associated with an increased risk of melanoma; however, these risks were only associated with patients diagnosed with CLL.
The researchers concluded that increased screening for melanoma is warranted for patients with NHL, but particularly for those diagnosed with CLL and treated with fludarabine-based treatments and/or those with autoimmune disorders.

Reference: Lam C, Curtis R, Dores G, et al. Risk factors for melanoma among survivors of non-hodgkin lymphoma. Journal of Clinical Oncology. Published online before print August 3, 2015, doi:10.1200/JCO.2014.60.2094.