Burden of illness for metastatic melanoma in Canada, 2011–2013

D.S. Ernst, T. Petrella, A.M. Joshua, A. Hamou, M. Thabane, S. Vantyghem, F. Gwadry-Sridhar



Detailed epidemiology for patients with advanced metastatic melanoma in Canada is not well characterized. We conducted an analysis of patients with this disease in the province of Ontario, with the aim being to study the presentation, disease characteristics and course, and treatment patterns for malignant melanoma.


In this Canadian observational prospective and retrospective study of patients with malignant melanoma, we used data collected in the Canadian Melanoma Research Network (cmrn) Patient Registry. We identified patients who were seen at 1 of 3 cancer treatment centres between April 2011 and 30 April 2013. Patient data from 2011 and 2012 were collected retrospectively using chart records and existing registry data. Starting January 2013, data were collected prospectively. Variables investigated included age, sex, initial stage, histology, mutation type, time to recurrence, sites of metastases, resectability, and previous therapies.


A cohort of 810 patients with melanoma was identified from the cmrn registry. Mean age was 58.7 years, and most patients were men (60% vs. 40%). Factors affecting survival included unresectable or metastatic melanoma, initial stage at diagnosis, presence of brain metastasis, and BRAF mutation status. The proportion of surviving patients decreased with higher initial disease stages.


Using registry data, we were able to determine the detailed epidemiology of patients with melanoma in the Canadian province of Ontario, validating the comprehensive and detailed information that can be obtained from registry data.


Metastatic melanoma; epidemiology; burden of disease; cancer registries

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3747/co.23.3161

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ISSN: 1198-0052 (Print) ISSN: 1718-7729 (Online)