European Journal of Plastic Surgery

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 229–232 | Cite as

Do melanoma patients with melanoma of unknown primary have better survival than patients with melanoma of known primary?

  • Jes Christian Rødgaard
  • Ulrik Kjerkegaard
  • Jens Ahm Sørensen
  • Lars Bjørn Stolle
Original Paper



Several studies have compared the survival rate of melanoma of unknown primary (MUP) patients with patients with a known primary melanoma (MKP). Some studies found improved survival in MUP patients, whereas others found similar or poorer outcomes. The aim of this study was to evaluate if there was a difference in survival between patients with MUP and patients with a MKP with stage III and IV disease.


A retrospective study was conducted of 48 MUP patients and 502 MKP patients diagnosed with American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) stage III and 92 MUP patients and 218 MKP patients diagnosed with AJCC stage IV melanoma at Aarhus University Hospital and Odense University Hospital, Denmark, between 2003 and 2013.


Multivariate analysis of data identified no significant survival differences between MUP and MKP patients with stage III (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.84; P = 0.46) and stage IV (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.03; P = 0.84) disease.


This study included patients from two major university hospitals in Denmark and showed no difference in overall survival between MUP and MKP patients with stage III or IV disease.

Level of Evidence: Level IV, risk/prognostic study.


Malignant melanoma Melanoma of unknown primary Melanoma of known primary Differences in survival 


Compliance with ethical standards



Conflict of interest

Jes Christian Rødgaard, Ulrik Kjerkegaard, Jens Ahm Sørensen, and Lars Bjørn Stolle declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

Ethical approval is not required for a retrospective register study.

Informed consent

For this type of study, formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jes Christian Rødgaard
    • 1
  • Ulrik Kjerkegaard
    • 2
  • Jens Ahm Sørensen
    • 1
  • Lars Bjørn Stolle
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Plastic and Reconstructive SurgeryOdense University HospitalOdenseDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Plastic and Reconstructive SurgeryAarhus University HospitalAarhusDenmark

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