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Primary Malignant Melanoma of the Lung: A Case Report

Apostolos Dountsis1, Charalambos Zisis1*, Evangelia Karagianni2 and Jubrail Dahabreh1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Thoracic Surgery, Athens Medical Center, Athens, Greece

2 Department of Pathology, Athens Medical Center, Athens, Greece

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World Journal of Surgical Oncology 2003, 1:26  doi:10.1186/1477-7819-1-26

Published: 30 November 2003



Primary melanoma of the lung is an extremely rare pathological entity and sparsely reported in the literature.

Case presentation

A case of primary malignant melanoma of the lung in a 41-year-old female is reported. The clinical, radiological and histopathological features are discussed. The initial symptom was cough, whereas the chest radiography showed a round opacity of the right lung. The computed tomography of the chest revealed a well-demarcated mass lesion in the right upper lobe. Endobronchial mass causing obstruction of the upper lobar bronchus was the bronchoscopic finding. Patient underwent pneumonectomy. A diagnosis of melanoma was confirmed postoperatively after the immunohistochemistry. Primary nature of the tumour in the lung results from the demonstration of characteristic junctional pattern of melanoma cells beneath the bronchial epithelium on histopathology, and from exclusion of other potential primary sites in the clinical, paraclinical and laboratory examination.


Primary melanoma of the lung represents a rare pathological entity. Careful interpretation of histopathological information in correlation with all other findings from clinical and paraclinical studies can establish a diagnosis. Follow-up is necessary in order to diagnose potential dissemination or secondary sites of the disease. Due to the small number of cases reported in the literature, there is no experience on the management and the prognosis of the disease, but surgical resection remains the cornerstone of the treatment.

Malignant; melanoma; pulmonary; immunohistochemistry; pneumonectomy; interferon; HMB-45; S-100