Marjorie H Colman

Melanoma Institute Australia, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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Publications (17)77.06 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to review the management of cervical lymph nodes in patients with cutaneous melanoma and to analyze factors influencing prognosis. This was a retrospective cohort study of patients who had cervical node surgery at the Sydney Melanoma Unit from 1990 to 2004. Of 716 patients who met the study criteria, 339 had a sentinel node biopsy (SNB) and 396 had a neck dissection. Locoregional recurrence occurred in 27.6 % of those undergoing therapeutic neck dissection and 60 % eventually developed distant metastases. Radiotherapy was given as adjuvant treatment in 110 of the patients who had a therapeutic neck dissection (41 %), but this was not associated with improved regional control (p = .322). Multivariate analysis showed that nodal positivity (p < .001) and primary tumor ulceration (p = < .027) were the most important predictors of locoregional recurrence and that primary tumor Breslow thickness (p = .009) and node positivity (p = .046) were the most important factors predicting survival. SNB-positive patients who underwent immediate completion lymphadenectomy had a 5-year survival advantage over those who had a therapeutic neck dissection for macroscopic disease (54 % vs 47 %, p = .028). Nodal status was the most important factor predicting disease-free and overall survival in patients with melanoma of the head and neck. Adjuvant radiotherapy was not associated with better locoregional control in the non-randomized cohorts of patients in this study.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Annals of Surgical Oncology
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    ABSTRACT: The immunohistochemical expression of cell cycle proteins p16, cyclin D1, and pRb was assessed in 112 benign and malignant melanocytic tumors and correlated with tumor progression, prognosis, and outcome. Comparing benign and malignant tumors, there were significant differences in the median score for all 3 proteins, with decreased p16 (P = .000001), increased cyclin D1 (P = .01), and increased pRb in melanomas (P = .01). There was a progressive loss of expression of p16 with progression from benign naevi to primary melanomas and to metastases. p16 was significantly decreased in primary tumors from melanoma patients who developed recurrent disease (P = .0000013). Cyclin D1 and pRb showed a progressive increase in expression from benign to malignant tumors but with relative decreases in the more advanced tumors (thick primaries and metastatic melanomas). Alterations in cell cycle proteins involved in G1/S transition are implicated in melanocytic tumor progression and have a potential role in diagnosis and prognostication.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2009 · International Journal of Surgical Pathology
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    ABSTRACT: Melanomas that arise in association with or that resemble blue nevi are extremely rare and have been termed "malignant blue nevi." The authors report on a single-institutional clinicopathologic study of "blue nevus-like melanomas" (BNLMs). Twenty-six patients were identified with a "malignant blue nevus" over 29 years at the Sydney Melanoma Unit. Twenty-three patients were included in the current study after pathologic review. Clinical outcomes of those patients were compared with the outcomes in a matched control group of patients with melanoma (matched for age, sex, Breslow thickness, Clark level, ulceration, and anatomic site). The median patient age was 44 years, and men comprised 65% of the patients. The tumors were distributed evenly among skin sites, and their median Breslow thickness was 5.5 mm. After a median follow-up of 36.5 months, there was no difference in survival (P = .702) between patients with BNLM and patients in the control group. BNLMs tended to present at a more advanced stage, with thicker primary tumors, but had a metastatic pattern comparable to and was not more aggressive in behavior than other types of melanoma. The authors concluded that BNLMs should be treated in the same way as any other melanoma variants based on clinical staging and pathologic prognostic indices.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2009 · Cancer
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    ABSTRACT: Existing follow-up guidelines after treatment for melanoma are based largely on dated literature and historical precedent. This study aimed to calculate recurrence rates and establish prognostic factors for recurrence to help redesign a follow-up schedule. Data were retrieved from the Sydney Melanoma Unit database for all patients with a single primary melanoma and American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) stage I-II disease, who had received their first treatment between 1959 and 2002. Recurrence rates, timing and survival were recorded by substage, and predictive factors were analysed. Recurrence occurred in 18.9 per cent (895 of 4748) of patients overall, 5.2 per cent (95 of 1822) of those with stage IA disease, 18.4 per cent (264 of 1436) with IB, 28.7 per cent (215 of 750) with IIA, 40.6 per cent (213 of 524) with IIB and 44.3 per cent (86 of 194) with IIC disease. Overall, the median disease-free survival time was 2.6 years, but there were marked differences between AJCC subgroups. Primary tumour thickness, ulceration and tumour mitotic rate were important predictors of recurrence. A new follow-up schedule was proposed: stage I annually, stage IIA 6-monthly for 2 years and then annually, stage IIB-IIC 4-monthly for 2 years, 6-monthly in the third year and annually thereafter.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2008 · British Journal of Surgery
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    ABSTRACT: The migration of melanoma cells along the external surface of blood vessels (angiotropism) has recently been proposed as a mechanism for melanoma metastasis (termed extravascular migratory metastasis). To determine whether the presence of angiotropism, as seen in the routine hematoxylin and eosin sections of primary cutaneous melanomas (PCMs), predicts the development of local or in-transit melanoma recurrence, 32 patients with a PCM who developed local or in-transit recurrence were matched for Breslow thickness with 59 "control" patients with a PCM who did not. The slides from both groups of patients were analyzed in a "blinded" manner for evidence of angiotropism. Other histologic and clinical variables were also assessed. Angiotropism was found more often in patients who developed local or in-transit recurrence (cases) compared with those patients who did not (controls) (P=0.02). Variables that showed a statistically significant association with angiotropism on univariate analysis were: increasing Breslow thickness (P<0.0001), greater Clark level (P<0.001), increasing mitotic index (P<0.0001), presence of ulceration (P<0.01), and absence of regression (P<0.05). The median disease-free survival was 72 months for patients with angiotropism and 104 months for those without (P=0.02). On multivariate analysis the presence of angiotropism was an independent predictor of decreased disease-free survival (P=0.02). This is the first reported study to identify a statistically significant association between the development of local or in-transit recurrence of PCM and the histologic presence of angiotropism and that angiotropism is an independent predictor of decreased disease-free survival, as far as we are aware. Our findings support the hypothesis that angiotropism represents a pathogenic mechanism for metastasis in patients with PCM.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2008 · The American journal of surgical pathology
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies have shown that younger age is associated with a greater likelihood of positive sentinel node (SN) status in patients with localized melanoma. This is a paradoxical situation because it is well known that younger patients have a far more favorable overall survival rate than older patients. In addition, desmoplastic melanomas are associated with a lower frequency of SN positivity, although this is less well documented. The outcome for 2303 cutaneous melanoma patients undergoing sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) at the Sydney Melanoma Unit between 1993 and 2006 was examined to clarify the role of patient age and desmoplastic histogenetic type on SN positivity. By univariate analysis, patients aged <40 years had a higher SN positivity rate (22.6%) than patients aged > or =40 years (15.4%; P < .004). Features associated with SN positivity were tumor thickness, mitotic rate, ulcerative state, and nondesmoplastic histogenetic type (all P < .001). Patient sex and primary melanoma site were not statistically significantly associated. Multivariate analyses revealed that only tumor thickness, patient age, nondesmoplastic type (all P < .001), and ulceration (P < .026) were independently associated with SN positivity. Key prognostic determinants such as total number of disease-positive nodes (both SNs and non-SNs) and site of first relapse did not vary according to age. Tumor thickness, patient age, desmoplastic histogenetic type, and primary melanoma ulceration were all independently associated with SN status. The factors underlying the paradox of a poorer survival rate in older patients despite a lower incidence of positive SNs remain unclear.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2008 · Annals of Surgical Oncology
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    ABSTRACT: Although the synoptic format is being increasingly used for primary cutaneous melanoma pathology reporting, no study assessing its value has yet been reported in the literature. The aim was to determine whether the use of synoptic reports increases the frequency with which pathological features that may influence prognosis and guide management are documented. Melanoma pathology reports (n = 1692) were evaluated; 904 were in a synoptic format [671 Sydney Melanoma Unit (SMU) reports and 233 non-SMU reports] and 788 were non-synoptic (184 SMU reports and 604 non-SMU reports). Reports (n = 1354) from 677 patients who had both a SMU report and a non-SMU report were compared. Almost all features were reported more frequently in synoptic than in non-synoptic reports (P < 0.001). No significant differences were found in the frequency of reporting the main pathological features between SMU and non-SMU synoptic reports. Synoptic reports were more frequently used by SMU (78%) than by non-SMU pathologists (28%). This is the first study to provide objective evidence that synoptic pathology reports for melanoma are more complete than non-synoptic reports (regardless of whether the reports are generated within or outside a specialist melanoma centre). All synoptic reports should include the facility for free text, be tailored to individual institutional requirements and be updated regularly to be of maximal value.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2008 · Histopathology
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    ABSTRACT: To determine if the cyclin dependent kinase inhibitors (CDKIs) p16 and p27 show reduced expression in the progression from benign to malignant melanocytic tumours, and to correlate these findings with patient prognosis. Ninety-two melanocytic tumours were assessed for immunohistochemical expression of p16 and p27. These specimens included nine compound naevi, 10 dysplastic naevi, 17 thin (<1 mm) melanomas, 22 thick (>1 mm) melanomas, nine in-transit metastases, 13 lymph node metastases, and 12 soft tissue metastases. Clinicopathological information on the 39 patients with melanoma primaries was obtained from the Sydney Melanoma Unit database. The median follow up period was 43.3 months. A significant loss of expression of p16 and p27 was found with tumour progression. Positive expression of p27 was found in all compound and dysplastic naevi but only 43.6% of melanoma primaries. Expression of p27 was greater in lymph node and in-transit metastases (63.6%), but lower in soft tissue metastases (36.4%). Positive expression of nuclear p16 was evident in 73.7% of benign naevi, 28.2% of primary melanomas and 14.7% of metastatic melanomas. Neither p16 nor p27 expression was significantly correlated with overall survival, disease free survival or other clinicopathological markers. The CDKIs p16 and p27 are associated with tumour progression in melanoma, but do not reliably predict recurrence or survival.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2007 · Pathology
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    ABSTRACT: It has been suggested that performing a sentinel node biopsy (SNB) in patients with cutaneous melanoma increases the incidence of in-transit metastasis (ITM). ITM rates for 2018 patients with primary melanomas > or =1.0 mm thick treated at a single institution between 1991 and 2000 according to 3 protocols were compared: wide local excision (WLE) only (n = 1035), WLE plus SNB (n = 754), and WLE plus elective lymph node dissection (n = 229). The incidence of ITM for the three protocols was 4.9%, 3.6%, and 5.7%, respectively (not significant), and as a first site of recurrent disease the incidence was 2.5%, 2.4%, and 4.4%, respectively (not significant). The subset of patients who were node positive after SNB and after elective lymph node dissection also had similar ITM rates (10.8% and 7.1%, respectively; P = .11). On multivariate analysis, primary tumor thickness and patient age predicted ITM as a first recurrence, but type of treatment did not. Patients who underwent WLE only and who had a subsequent therapeutic lymph node dissection (n = 149) had an ITM rate of 24.2%, compared with 10.8% in patients with a tumor-positive sentinel node treated with immediate dissection (n = 102; P = .03). Performing an SNB in patients with melanoma treated by WLE does not increase the incidence of ITM.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2005 · Annals of Surgical Oncology
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    ABSTRACT: Metastatic melanoma confined to a limb can be treated effectively by isolated limb infusion (ILI) with cytotoxic drugs. The present study was undertaken to determine whether electively performing a second ILI procedure after 4 weeks increases the frequency and/or duration of response, and also to assess the value of a second ILI when disease recurrence or progression in a limb occurs after a first ILI. In 47 patients, a planned double ILI protocol achieved an overall response (OR) rate of 88% (complete response (CR) 41%, partial response (PR) 47%, median duration of response 18 months). Response rates after double ILI were similar to those in 81 patients treated with a single ILI over the same time period (CR 41%, PR 41%), without significant differences in response duration. After double ILI more patients experienced Wieberdink Grade III or IV limb toxicity. Following a second ILI for progression after an initial ILI (n=14), the OR rate was 71%, with a 5 month median duration of response. Since elective double ILI increases toxicity without increasing efficacy, performance of a single ILI is the preferred treatment option for melanoma confined to a limb. However, a second ILI can be of value if limb disease recurs or progresses following a previous ILI.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2004 · European Journal of Surgical Oncology
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    ABSTRACT: The late Dr. Vincent McGovern (1915 to 1983) was an international authority on melanoma pathology and one of the first to suggest that assessment of tumor mitotic rate (TMR) might provide useful prognostic information. Data for a large cohort of patients, now with extended follow-up, whose tumors had been assessed by Dr. McGovern were analyzed to reassess the independent prognostic value of TMR in primary localized, cutaneous melanoma. Information was extracted from the Sydney Melanoma Unit database for 1317 patients treated between 1957 and 1982 for whom there was complete clinical information and whose primary lesion pathology, which included tumor thickness, ulcerative state, and TMR, had been assessed by Dr. McGovern. All these assessments were made according to the recommendations of the Eighth International Pigment Cell Conference, held in Sydney in 1972 under the auspices of the International Union Against Cancer. Factors predicting melanoma-specific survival were analyzed with the Cox proportional hazards regression model. Stage, according to the recently revised American Joint Committee on Cancer Staging System (which is based on tumor thickness and ulceration) was the most predictive factor for survival (P<.0001). This was followed by primary lesion site (P<.0001), patient age (P=.0005), and TMR (P=.008). TMR was confirmed to be an important independent predictor of survival of patients with primary cutaneous melanoma. However, its predictive value was less than it was when assessed according to the 1982 revisions of the 1972 TMR recommendations.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2004 · Annals of Surgical Oncology
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    ABSTRACT: To analyze prognostic factors, effects of treatment, and survival for patients with cerebral metastases from melanoma. All melanoma patients with cerebral metastases treated at the Sydney Melanoma Unit between 1952 and 2000 were identified. From 1985 to 2000, patients were diagnosed and treated using consistent modern techniques and this cohort was analyzed in detail. Multivariate analysis of prognostic factors for survival was performed. A total of 1137 patients with cerebral metastases were identified; 686 were treated between 1985 and 2000. For these 686 patients, the median time from primary diagnosis to cerebral metastasis was 3.1 years (range, 0 to 41 years). A total of 646 patients (94%) have died as a result of melanoma. The median survival from the time of diagnosis of cerebral metastasis was 4.1 months (range, 0 to 17.2 years). Treatment was as follows: surgery and postoperative radiotherapy, 158 patients; surgery alone, 47 patients; radiotherapy alone, 236 patients; and supportive care alone, 210 patients. Median survival according to treatment received for these four groups was 8.9, 8.7, 3.4, and 2.1 months, respectively; the differences between surgery and nonsurgery groups were statistically significant. On multivariate analysis, significant factors associated with improved survival were surgical treatment (P <.0001), no concurrent extracerebral metastases (P <.0001), younger age (P =.0007), and longer disease-free interval (P =.036). Prognostic factors analysis confirmed the important influence of patient selection on treatment received. This large series documents the characteristics of patients who developed cerebral metastases from melanoma. Median survival was dependent on treatment, which in turn was dependent on patient selection.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2004 · Journal of Clinical Oncology
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    ABSTRACT: The prognosis for patients with localized primary cutaneous melanoma is known to depend principally on tumor thickness, and to a lesser extent on ulcerative state and Clark level. We have recently found in an analysis of 3661 patients that tumor mitotic rate (TMR) is also an important prognostic parameter, ranking second only to tumor thickness. However, few studies have assessed the accuracy and reproducibility with which these features of a melanoma are recorded by histopathologists. To assess interobserver reproducibility of major pathologic prognostic parameters in cutaneous melanoma. Single hematoxylin and eosin-stained slides of 69 dermally invasive primary cutaneous melanomas were circulated among six pathologists with differing experience in the assessment of melanocytic tumors. The observers independently determined the tumor thickness, Clark level of invasion, ulcerative state, and TMR for each lesion. Intraclass correlation coefficients and kappa scores for multiple ratings per subject were calculated. The intraclass correlation coefficients were 0.96 for tumor thickness and 0.76 for TMR. The kappa scores were 0.83 for ulcerative state and 0.60 for Clark level. These results indicated excellent agreement among the pathologists for measurements of tumor thickness, ulcerative state, and TMR and fair to good agreement for Clark level. Appropriately trained and experienced histopathologists can assess prognostically important features of melanomas accurately and reproducibly. Given our recent finding of the significance of TMR in determining prognosis, it is important that this feature be assessed by a standardized method and documented for all primary cutaneous melanomas.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2004 · American Journal of Surgical Pathology
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    ABSTRACT: The current study was performed to determine whether tumor mitotic rate (TMR) is a useful, independent prognostic factor in patients with localized cutaneous melanoma. From the Sydney Melanoma Unit database, 3661 patients with complete clinical information and details of primary tumor thickness, ulcerative state, and TMR were studied. TMR was expressed as mitoses per mm(2) in the dermal part of the tumor in which most mitoses were seen, as recommended in the 1982 revision of the 1972 Sydney classification of malignant melanoma. To determine which was the more prognostically useful method of grouping TMR, two separate methods (A and B) were used. Factors predicting melanoma-specific survival were analyzed using the Cox proportional hazards regression model. Patients with a TMR of 0 mitoses/mm(2) had a significantly better survival than those with 1 mitosis/mm(2) (P < 0.0001) but no significant survival differences were recorded for the stepwise increases from 1-2, 2-3, 3-4, and 4-5/mm(2). Tumor thickness, ulceration, and TMR were closely correlated, whether TMR was grouped using Method A (0, 1-4, 5-10, and >/= 11 mitoses/mm(2)) or Method B (0-1, 2-4, and >/= 5 mitoses/mm(2)). However, Cox regression analysis indicated that the TMR was a highly significant independent prognostic factor, particularly when grouped according to Method A, in which it was second only to tumor thickness as the most powerful predictor of survival (P < 0.0001). TMR is an important independent predictor of survival for melanoma patients. If confirmed by studies from other centers, it has the potential to further improve the accuracy of melanoma staging, as well as to define more rigidly the risk categories for patients entering clinical trials.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2003 · Cancer
  • J F Thompson · J A Hunt · K F Shannon · M H Colman · PCA Kam

    No preview · Article · Jun 1997 · Melanoma Research

  • No preview · Article · Jun 1997 · European Journal of Cancer

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Publication Stats

933 Citations
77.06 Total Impact Points


  • 2009-2012
    • Melanoma Institute Australia
      Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • 1997-2009
    • Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
      • Division of Anatomical Pathology
      Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia
  • 2007
    • Sydney Cancer Centre
      Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia