Claire KOH, Martin TW CHIO, Hazel H OON. Cutaneous Melanoma associated with Papillary Thyroid Cancer

National Skin Centre, Singapore



“The risk of melanoma patients developing second primary cancers has been studied with increasing interest due to improved survival rates of patients with melanomas. Recent studies have shown an increased prevalence of thyroid cancers in patients with cutaneous melanomas. There may be a common genetic link between cutaneous melanomas and thyroid cancers. Recurrent mutations in the BRAF oncogene were recently identified in both malignancies.



The authors report a case of a 79-year-old gentleman with melanoma who was found to have focal hypermetabolic activity in the right thyroid lobe on a whole body positron emission tomography (PET) with contrast-enhanced computed axial tomography (CT) scan. Subsequent ultrasound-guided fine needle aspirate and cytology revealed a papillary thyroid tumour. He underwent wide excision with split-skin graft and sentinel lymph node biopsy for the melanoma and total thyroidectomy.



Our case reinforces the association between these two carcinomas. Monitoring of thyroid function with thyroid ultrasound and TSH may be useful in melanoma survivors.”