Purpose: We evaluate tumor characteristics, recurrence and survival following surgical treatment for female urethral melanoma. Materials and Methods: A review of the records of all female patients with primary localized urethral melanoma (11, mean age 68 years) who underwent partial urethrectomy (7) or radical extirpation (4) from 1950 to 1999 was performed to determine disease specific survival and/or tumor characteristics correlating with survival. Clinical and pathological stage, tumor location, nodal status, adjuvant therapy and tumor pathological components including depth, width, necrosis and vascular/lymphatic invasion, were evaluated. Overall disease recurrence, crude and disease specific survival rates were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Results: Malignant melanoma occurred in the distal urethra in all 11 cases with local extension into the vagina (T3) in 7. Mean depth of invasion was 6.1 mm and mean tumor width was 2.0 cm. No vascular/lymphatic invasion or tumor necrosis was seen pathologically. No patient had received adjuvant therapy at the time of initial surgery. There were 7 recurrences (6 of 7 within 1 year postoperatively). Of the 7 cases of partial urethrectomy, urethral recurrence (1 with concurrent lung metastasis) developed in 5 and none had bladder recurrence. Those who underwent radical surgery had recurrence in the pelvis and lungs (1) and inguinal lymph nodes (1). Crude and disease specific survival ± standard error at 3 years was 27 ± 15% and 38 ± 19%, respectively. Conclusions: Primary female urethral melanoma is associated with a rapid and high local recurrence rate (60% at 1 year). Overall and cancer specific survival at 3 years is 27% and 38%, respectively. Local failure may in part be due to inadequate resection.
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