2013 to 2017 saw significant drop in U.S. melanoma mortality rates

2013 to 2017 saw significant drop in U.S. melanoma mortality rates

The introduction of new melanoma treatments coincided with a reduction in the melanoma mortality rate (MMR) in the United States, according to a study published online Dec. 6 in JAMA Network Open.

Navkirat Kahlon, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences in Ohio, and colleagues reviewed changes in the long-term MMR trends in adult patients in the United States using data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database. Outcomes were examined in association with U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of new drugs for melanoma.

The researchers found that for the first time in the past 40 years, there was a significant reduction in MMR from 2013 to 2017, after the introduction of new treatments in 2011 (most after 2013). From 1975 to 1988, the rates increased (annual percent change, 1.65 percent; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.30 to 2.00 percent; P < 0.001). From 1988 to 2013, there was no significant change in MMR (annual percent change, 0.01 percent; 95 percent confidence interval, −1.10 to 0.12 percent; P = 0.85). From 2013 to 2017, there was a significant decrease in MMR (annual percent change, −6.28 percent; 95 percent confidence interval, −8.52 to −3.97 percent; P < 0.001).

“The effectiveness of new and innovative therapeutics for melanoma is likely represented by the remarkable and statistically significant drop in population-level melanoma mortality in the last decade,” the authors write. “These are very encouraging data and support the continued development of such therapies.”

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

More information:
Navkirat Kahlon et al, Melanoma Treatments and Mortality Rate Trends in the US, 1975 to 2019, JAMA Network Open (2022). DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.45269

Journal information:
JAMA Network Open

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