Content » Vol 97, Issue 1

Investigative Report

Inverse Association Between Atopy and Melanoma: A Case-control Study

Vivien Marasigan, Marie-Anne Morren, Julien Lambert, Karen Medaer, Steffen Fieuws, Tamar Nijsten, Marjan Garmyn
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-2476


Heightened cutaneous immune surveillance in atopic patients may inhibit development of melanoma. The aim of this study was to analyse the association between atopy and melanoma (development and outcome). A total of 188 cases of melanoma and 596 healthy controls were interviewed by telephone with a standardized questionnaire on atopic, demographic and melanoma characteristics. Cases were matched with controls on important confounders (age, sex, sunburn sensitivity, hair colour, number of moles, sunburn as juvenile, ever solarium, familial melanoma). Melanoma outcome data (disease relapse and death) within cases were retrieved. Analysis showed a general inverse association between atopy and melanoma development, but this was statistically significant only for a history of personal atopy (odds ratio 0.53, 95% confidence interval: 0.30–0.96, p-value = 0.04). Among melanoma patients, atopy did not affect survival or progression. In conclusion, this study suggests an inverse association between a history of atopy and melanoma development, but not with disease progression.


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