MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Jennifer A. Stein MD PhD
Department of Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology
NYU Langone Medical Center
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Stein: Although acral melanoma is not a common cancer, it is the most common form of melanoma in African Americans. There is low awareness about acral melanoma, and it tends to get detected later and is more often fatal than other types of melanoma.
Our study looked at awareness of and the prevalence of pigmented lesions on the hands and feet. People with darker skin were more likely to have a pigmented lesion on their soles or palms than people with lighter skin. We found that more than half of the people in the study were not aware that they had a pigmented lesion on their feet. Our study found that most pigmented lesions on the hands and feet are benign, and that an imaging technique called dermsocopy can be used to distinguish benign from malignant acral lesions.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Stein: A total body skin exam should include the hands and feet. It is common to find a pigmented lesion on the hands and feet, especially in people who have many moles elsewhere on their body. Dermoscopy is an extremely useful technique for distinguishing benign from malignant acral lesions and saving unnecessary biopsies.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Stein: We need to better understand the relationship between moles on the hands and feet and acral melanoma. We know very little about what causes acral melanoma. More research is needed to better understand the risk factors for acral melanoma, why it has a worse prognosis, and how it can be better treated.
Reshmi Madankumar, Priyanka V. Gumaste, Kathryn Martires, Panta R. Schaffer, Sonal Choudhary, Leyre Falto-Aizpurua, Harleen Arora, Penelope J. Kallis, Shailee Patel, Shadi Damanpour, Margaret I. Sanchez, Natalie Yin, Aegean Chan, Miguel Sanchez, David Polsky, Holly Kanavy, James M. Grichnik, Jennifer A. Stein
Dr. Jennifer A. Stein MD PhD (2016). Melanoma Can Arise From Moles on the Soles and Palms