Primary melanoma of the prostate is rare, and usually cannot be diagnosed on imaging alone. In many cases, it is believed that in fact, the tumor represents prostatic involvement by melanoma of the urethra.
Primary malignant melanoma of the prostate represents both a tiny fraction of all malignant melanomas and a tiny fraction of all prostatic malignancies 1,2. Unlike prostate cancer which is a disease usually of patients over the age of 50 years, melanoma of the prostate can affect younger adult males 2.
Patients either present with urinary symptoms, attributable from outflow obstruction, or with symptoms from metastases. It is rare for the diagnosis to be made clinically or on imaging, although suspicion that an aggressive prostate mass is not the more common prostate cancer is usually raised due to the patient's age or absence of raised PSA 2.
Unfortunately, there are no findings on imaging to suggest the diagnosis.
Metastases to local pelvic lymph nodes, bone, and lung are frequently seen.
Treatment and prognosis
Aggressive surgical management often with adjuvant chemotherapy is the standard of care, however despite this prognosis is very poor 1,2. These tumors are highly aggressive, resulting in direct local extension and distant metastases early, especially to bone 2.
The overall reported 5-year survival of genitourinary melanoma is only 30% 3, however, due to the rarity of prostatic melanoma no figures are available.
The differential depends on the size of the mass, and the degree of local invasion. For small masses the differential can usually be limited to:
Larger masses often have their epicenter still centered on the prostate. Other adjacent tumors to be considered however include:
- 1. Doublali M, Chouaib A, Khallouk A et-al. Primary malignant melanoma of prostate. Urol Ann. 2010;2 (2): 76-7. doi:10.4103/0974-7796.65105 - Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation
- 2. Ma L, Liu W, Sun F. Primary malignant melanoma of the prostate. Int. J. Urol. 2010;17 (1): 94-5. doi:10.1111/j.1442-2042.2009.02418.x - Pubmed citation
- 3. Nguyen AT, Kavolius JP, Russo P et-al. Primary genitourinary melanoma. Urology. 2001;57 (4): 633-8. Urology (link) - Pubmed citation
- 4. Bland KI, Daly JM, Karakousis CP. Surgical oncology, contemporary principles & practice. McGraw-Hill Professional. (2001) ISBN:0838587364. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon