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Review

Melanoma Management during the COVID-19 Pandemic Emergency: A Literature Review and Single-Center Experience

1
Department of Medical Sciences, Dermatology Clinic, University of Turin, 10126 Turin, Italy
2
Dermatologic Surgery Department, Surgery Department, University Hospital, 10126 Turin, Italy
3
Department of Medicine and Ageing Science, Dermatologic Clinic, “G. D’Annunzio” University, 66100 Chieti, Italy
4
Skin Cancer Unit, IRCCS-IRST Scientific Institute of Romagna for the Study and Treatment of Cancer, Meldola and University of Parma, 43121 Parma, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this paper as first authors.
These authors contributed equally to this paper as senior authors.
Academic Editors: Maria Dalamaga, Narjes Nasiri-Ansari and Nikolaos Spyrou
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6071; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13236071
Received: 10 October 2021 / Revised: 22 November 2021 / Accepted: 28 November 2021 / Published: 2 December 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Challenges of COVID-19 with Obesity-Related Cancers)
COVID-19 is a highly contagious infection caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). In March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that COVID-19 had become a pandemic; since then, several elective clinical and surgical activities have been postponed to reduce the risk of nosocomial infection. This has influenced the diagnosis and management of many diseases, including melanoma. The aim of our literature review was to evaluate whether the management of melanoma has been changed by the outbreak of COVID-19, and if so, what the consequences of these changes are. The main topics in this literature review are the screening of suspicious lesions, diagnosis of primary melanoma, and the management of early-stage and advanced melanomas in the COVID-19 era. We also reported the experience of our dermatological clinic in Turin, one of the most affected areas in Italy.
Background: The current COVID-19 pandemic has influenced the modus operandi of all fields of medicine, significantly impacting patients with oncological diseases and multiple comorbidities. Thus, in recent months, the establishment of melanoma management during the emergency has become a major area of interest. In addition to original articles, case reports and specific guidelines for the period have been developed. Purpose: This article aims to evaluate whether melanoma management has been changed by the outbreak of COVID-19, and if so, what the consequences are. We summarized the main issues concerning the screening of suspicious lesions, the diagnosis of primary melanoma, and the management of early-stage and advanced melanomas during the pandemic. Additionally, we report on the experience of our dermatological clinic in northern Italy. Methods: We performed a literature review evaluating articles on melanomas and COVID-19 published in the last two years on PubMed, as well as considering publications by major healthcare organizations. Concerning oncological practice in our center, we collected data on surgical and therapeutic procedures in patients with a melanoma performed during the first months of the pandemic. Conclusions: During the emergency period, the evaluation of suspicious skin lesions was ensured as much as possible. However, the reduced level of access to medical care led to a documented delay in the diagnosis of new melanomas. When detected, the management of early-stage and advanced melanomas was fully guaranteed, whereas the follow-up visits of disease-free patients have been postponed or replaced with a teleconsultation when possible. View Full-Text
Keywords: melanoma; COVID-19; management; pandemic; teledermatology; diagnostic delay; immunotherapy; vaccination; lymph adenopathy melanoma; COVID-19; management; pandemic; teledermatology; diagnostic delay; immunotherapy; vaccination; lymph adenopathy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cariti, C.; Merli, M.; Avallone, G.; Rubatto, M.; Marra, E.; Fava, P.; Caliendo, V.; Picciotto, F.; Gualdi, G.; Stanganelli, I.; Fierro, M.T.; Ribero, S.; Quaglino, P. Melanoma Management during the COVID-19 Pandemic Emergency: A Literature Review and Single-Center Experience. Cancers 2021, 13, 6071. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13236071

AMA Style

Cariti C, Merli M, Avallone G, Rubatto M, Marra E, Fava P, Caliendo V, Picciotto F, Gualdi G, Stanganelli I, Fierro MT, Ribero S, Quaglino P. Melanoma Management during the COVID-19 Pandemic Emergency: A Literature Review and Single-Center Experience. Cancers. 2021; 13(23):6071. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13236071

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cariti, Caterina, Martina Merli, Gianluca Avallone, Marco Rubatto, Elena Marra, Paolo Fava, Virginia Caliendo, Franco Picciotto, Giulio Gualdi, Ignazio Stanganelli, Maria T. Fierro, Simone Ribero, and Pietro Quaglino. 2021. "Melanoma Management during the COVID-19 Pandemic Emergency: A Literature Review and Single-Center Experience" Cancers 13, no. 23: 6071. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13236071

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