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Regressing metastatic melanoma and vitiligo-like depigmentation in an Indigenous Australian

Elizabeth M Christou, Diona L Damian and John F Thompson
Med J Aust 2010; 192 (3): 171.

To the Editor: A 69-year-old Indigenous Australian man, with no known Caucasian ancestry, presented in 2008 with a 7-week history of depigmentation of the face and neck, which was initially intensely pruritic and erythematous. He had neither a personal history nor family history of vitiligo, but a 2 mm thick, Clark level III, superficially spreading melanoma had been widely excised from his right lateral calf in 2001; results of a right inguinal sentinel node biopsy had been negative. In 2005, multiple small local recurrences on the right lower leg had been surgically removed. Two years later, further histologically confirmed local cutaneous and subcutaneous recurrences were excised, but new lesions continued to develop. His medical history included type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, atrial fibrillation and coronary artery bypass grafting. He had no family history of melanoma.

  • Elizabeth M Christou1
  • Diona L Damian1,2
  • John F Thompson1,2,3

  • 1 Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2 University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.
  • 3 Melanoma Institute Australia, Sydney, NSW.


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