Trends in pediatric skin cancer

Skin Cancer

Moustafa D, et al. Curr Opin Pediatr 2020.


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To inform pediatric providers of the clinical characteristics, underlying genetic drivers, and therapeutic options for skin cancer arising in childhood and adolescence.

RECENT FINDINGS: The incidence of melanoma in pediatric patients has been declining in the past decades. Pediatric-specific diagnostic criteria should be utilized when assessing lesions concerning for melanoma to better account for the different presentations seen in pediatric disease compared with adults, such as an increased prevalence of amelanotic melanoma or frequent mimic of benign pediatric lesions. Pediatric melanoma often presents with a higher histopathologic stage and a higher Breslow depth as compared with adult melanoma. Pediatric nonmelanoma skin cancer including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are associated with genetic conditions and immunosuppression, both iatrogenic and inherited.

SUMMARY: Melanoma in pediatric patients often presents differently from conventional adult melanoma, including Spitz melanoma and melanoma associated with congenital melanocytic nevi. Pediatric patients with nonmelanoma skin cancers should be evaluated for predisposing risk factors. More research on therapeutic options for pediatric skin cancer is vital to understanding the tolerance and response of our pediatric patients to therapies that are more frequently utilized in adult disease.