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The cost of unresectable stage III or stage IV melanoma in Italy

Michele Maio1*, Paolo Ascierto2, Alessandro Testori3, Ruggero Ridolfi4, Emilio Bajetta5, Paola Queirolo6, Michele Guida7, Antonella Romanini8, Vanna Chiarion-Sileni9, Jacopo Pigozzo9, Anna Maria Di Giacomo1, Mario Calandriello10, Guido Didoni10, Marck van Baardewijk11, Cyril Konto12 and Carlo Lucioni13

Author Affiliations

1 Medical Oncology and Immunotherapy, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Senese, Istituto Toscano Tumori, Strada delle Scotte, 53100, Siena, Italy

2 Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Fondazione Pascale, Naples, Italy

3 Istituto Europeo di Oncologia, Milan, Italy

4 IRCCS - IRST, Meldola, Forlì-Cesena, Italy

5 Istituto di Oncologia, Policlinico di Monza, Italy

6 Oncologia Medica A, Azienda Ospedaliera S. Martino-, Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro IST, Genoa, Italy

7 Istituto Tumori Giovanni Paolo II, IRCCS, Bari, Italy

8 Oncologia Medica 1, AOU Pisana “Spedali Riuniti di Santa Chiara”, Pisa, Italy

9 Istituto Oncologico Veneto, IRCCS, Padova, Italy

10 Health Economics & Outcome Research Unit, BMS Italy, Rome, Italy

11 Head Market Access & External Affairs, Novartis Oncology, Amsterdam, Netherlands

12 Global Clinical Research Oncology, BMS Global, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK

13 Health Economist, Springer Healthcare, Milan, Italy

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Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2012, 31:91  doi:10.1186/1756-9966-31-91

Published: 1 November 2012



In recent decades, melanoma incidence has been increasing in European countries; in 2006, there were approximately 60,000 cases leading to 13,000 deaths. Within Europe there is some geographical variation in the incidence of melanoma, with the highest rates reported in Scandinavia (15 cases per 100,000 inhabitants per year) and the lowest in the Mediterranean countries (5 to 7 cases per 100,000 inhabitants per year).


The present article is based on the information collected in the MELODY study (MELanoma treatment patterns and Outcomes among patients with unresectable stage III or stage IV Disease: a retrospective longitudinal survey).

In that study, the medical charts of patients were reviewed to document current treatment patterns and to analyse information on patients, disease characteristics and healthcare resource utilization related to the treatment of advanced melanoma regarding patients who presented with a diagnosis of malignant melanoma (stage I to IV) at participating sites between 01 July, 2005 and 30 June, 2006.


Summarizing, though the length of the follow-up period varies among sample patients, an amount of the yearly cost per patient can be estimated, dividing the average per patient total cost (€ 5.040) by the average follow-up duration (17.5 months) and reporting to one year; on these grounds, unresectable stage III or stage IV melanoma in Italy would cost € 3,456 per patient per year.

Metastatic melanoma; Medical direct cost; Clinical outcomes