Tumour stage distribution and survival of malignant melanoma in Germany 2002-2011

Olaf Schoffer, Stefanie Schülein, Gerlinde Arand, Hans Arnholdt, Dieter Baaske, Ralf C. Bargou, Nikolaus Becker, Matthias W. Beckmann, Yves Bodack, Beatrix Böhme, Tayfun Bozkurt, Regine Breitsprecher, Andre Buchali, Elke Burger, Ulrike Burger, Klaus Dommisch, Gudrun Elsner, Karin Fernschild, Ulrike Flintzer, Uwe FunkeMichael Gerken, Hubert Göbel, Norbert Grobe, Vera Gumpp, Lucie Heinzerling, Lana Raffaela Kempfer, Alexander Kiani, Monika Klinkhammer-Schalke, Sabine Klöcking, Ute Kreibich, Katrin Knabner, Peter Kuhn, Stine Lutze, Uwe Mäder, Tanja Maisel, Jan Maschke, Martin Middeke, Andreas Neubauer, Antje Niedostatek, Anabelle Opazo-Saez, Christoph Peters, Beatrice Schell, Gerhard Schenkirsch, Harald Schmalenberg, Peter Schmidt, Constanze Schneider, Birgit Schubotz, Anika Seide, Paul Strecker, Sabine Taubenheim, Matthias Wackes, Steffen Weiß, Claudia Welke, Carmen Werner, Christian Wittekind, Jörg Wulff, Heike Zettl, Stefanie J. Klug

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27 Scopus citations


Background: Over the past two decades, there has been a rising trend in malignant melanoma incidence worldwide. In 2008, Germany introduced a nationwide skin cancer screening program starting at age 35. The aims of this study were to analyse the distribution of malignant melanoma tumour stages over time, as well as demographic and regional differences in stage distribution and survival of melanoma patients. Methods: Pooled data from 61 895 malignant melanoma patients diagnosed between 2002 and 2011 and documented in 28 German population-based and hospital-based clinical cancer registries were analysed using descriptive methods, joinpoint regression, logistic regression and relative survival. Results: The number of annually documented cases increased by 53.2% between 2002 (N = 4 779) and 2011 (N = 7 320). There was a statistically significant continuous positive trend in the proportion of stage UICC I cases diagnosed between 2002 and 2011, compared to a negative trend for stage UICC II. No trends were found for stages UICC III and IV respectively. Age (OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.97-0.97), sex (OR 1.18, 95% CI 1.11-1.25), date of diagnosis (OR 1.05, 95% CI 1.04-1.06), 'diagnosis during screening' (OR 3.24, 95% CI 2.50-4.19) and place of residence (OR 1.23, 95% CI 1.16-1.30) had a statistically significant influence on the tumour stage at diagnosis. The overall 5-year relative survival for invasive cases was 83.4% (95% CI 82.8-83.9%). Conclusions: No distinct changes in the distribution of malignant melanoma tumour stages among those aged 35 and older were seen that could be directly attributed to the introduction of skin cancer screening in 2008.

Original languageEnglish
Article number936
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - 5 Dec 2016


  • Malignant melanoma
  • Skin cancer screening
  • Stage distribution
  • Survival analysis
  • TNM staging


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