Plain Language Summary – Development and validation of risk calculators for people with “thin” melanomas on their skin to predict the likelihood that their cancer will return.

Sharouni M-AE, Lo SN, Varey AH, Elias SG, Witkamp AJ, Sigurdsson V, Suijkerbuijk KP, van Diest PJ, van Gils CH, Blokx WA, Scolyer RA, Thompson JF. Future oncology (London, England), (Feb 10 2023), doi:10.2217/fon-2022-0525.


What is this summary about?: This is a summary of an article describing the development of risk calculators for use in people who develop a type of melanoma on their skin called “thin” melanoma to predict the likelihood that their cancer will return. The article was originally published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2021.

How were the calculators developed?: Calculations were performed to predict the chance of people with thin melanomas surviving without their melanoma recurring. Three graphical prediction calculators (called nomograms) were developed, along with easy-to-use online calculators using the same underlying calculation methods. The model was developed using data for 25,930 Dutch people diagnosed with thin melanomas (called the “development set”). To test its ability to predict melanoma recurrence, it was then compared with data for 2,968 Australian people with melanoma (the “validation set”). The calculators developed in the Dutch patients were found to accurately predict the risk of melanoma recurring for people with melanoma in the Australian “validation” group.

What do the results mean?: The calculators provide estimates of the risk of the melanoma returning for people with thin melanomas. The easy-to-use online calculators are freely available on a smartphone, tablet or computer, and will assist in providing accurate estimates of recurrence risks for individuals with thin melanomas, allowing more intensive follow-up of those whose predicted risk of their melanoma returning is high.