Patterns of Recurrence of Cutaneous Melanoma: A Literature Review

Patterns of Recurrence of Cutaneous Melanoma: A Literature Review


  • Dominga Peirano Department of Dermatology, Escuela de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • Francisca Donoso Department of Dermatology, Escuela de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • Sebastian Vargas Department of Dermatology, Escuela de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • Leonel Hidalgo Department of Dermatology, Escuela de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • Rosario Agüero Department of Dermatology, Escuela de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • Pablo Uribe Department of Dermatology, Escuela de Medicina; Melanoma and Skin Cancer Unit, Escuela de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • Sebastian Mondaca Melanoma and Skin Cancer Unit, Escuela de Medicina; Department of Medical Oncology, Escuela de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • Cristian Patricio Navarrete-Dechent Department of Dermatology, Facultad de Medicina; Melanoma and Skin Cancer Unit, Escuela de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile


melanoma, staging, recurrence, metastasis, skin cancer, imaging, screening


The incidence of melanoma has been dramatically increasing over the last decades. Melanoma is considered to have a high metastatic potential and it can progress due to hematogenous metastasis or via lymphatic vessels. Different patterns of recurrence have been described, namely, local, satellite, and in transit metastasis (LCIT), lymphatic, and systemic metastasis. With a more advanced melanoma stage at diagnosis, there is a higher risk for systemic metastasis in comparison to LCIT; in contrast, early-stage melanoma tends to recur more frequently as LCIT and less commonly as systematic metastasis. The aim of this review was to summarize the patterns of recurrence of cutaneous melanoma, giving the clinician a practical summary for diagnosis, prognosis, and surveillance. There is a knowledge gap of the common patterns of recurrence that needs to be addressed to better identify patients at high risk of disease recurrence and personalize surveillance strategies as well as patient counseling.


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Patterns of Recurrence of Cutaneous Melanoma: A Literature Review. Dermatol Pract Concept [Internet]. 2023 Oct. 31 [cited 2024 Jul. 13];13(4):e2023304. Available from: