Longer Survival From Melanoma in Germany: A Registry-Based Time Series Study


BACKGROUND: New treatment options for cutaneous melanomas with a poor prognosis have been available since 2011, including immune therapies and targeted drugs. Randomized controlled trials have demonstrated that these treatments improve survival, but no population-level studies have been available to date.

METHODS: All patients in the database of the Center for Cancer Registry Data (Zentrum für Krebsregisterdaten) who had a diagnosis of melanoma (ICD10: C43) in the years 2000 to 2019 were included in the study. The relative five-year survival (5YRS) was calculated for four 5-year periods (2000-04, 2005-09, 2010-14, 2015-19). The data were standardized/stratified according to sex, age group, and UICC stage to correct for differences between regions and over time. Regression models were used to detect statistically significant secular trends.

RESULTS: 301 486 individuals were included in the study. The overall 5YRS rose from 93% (2000-04) to 95% (2015-19). The 5YRS in 2015-19 was similar to or greater than that in 2000-04 for all subgroups. The largest rises in 5YRS were between 2010-14 and 2015-19, and specifically in advanced stages: for UICC stage IV tumors, the 5YRS rose from 31% to 36%. There was a significant rising trend across the four time periods (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: The survival of melanoma patients has improved over the past 20 years. From 2010-14 to the most recent period, the largest changes were seen in advanced tumor stages. This favorable development coincided with the introduction of new therapies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDeutsches Arzteblatt International
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)45-51
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 26.01.2024

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Center for Population Medicine and Public Health (ZBV)

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