Improved melanoma outcomes and survival in patients monitored by total body photography: A natural experiment

Total body photography (TBP) facilitates early melanoma detection, but long-term outcomes have not been well studied. Our objectives were to examine melanoma diagnoses, role of TBP-associated follow-up visits, and survival in patients monitored by TBP. A total of 1955 patients meeting inclusion criteria received TBP from 2004-2013 at a single academic center. We compared the melanoma diagnoses and overall survival of 1253 patients with any follow-up visits (median, three visits; range, 1-18) and 702 patients with no follow-up visits. Use of TBP photographs influenced decision to biopsy 66 of 121 (54.5%) melanomas diagnosed after TBP. Lower invasive melanomaBreslow depth was significantly associated with having one or more follow-up visit (median, 0.83 vs 0.33 mm; P = .002) and photographic review (median, 0.31 vs 0.48 mm; P = 0.02). In multivariable analyses, greater overall survival was significantly associated with having one or more follow-up visit after TBP (hazard ratio [HR], 0.36; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.14-0.91; P < 0.032) and having more than 100 nevi (HR, 0.37; 95% CI, 0.22-0.64; P = 0.004). Worse overall survival was significantly associated with increasing age (HR per year, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.04-1.08; P < 0.001) and male sex (HR, 2.65; 95% CI, 1.48-4.73; P = 0.001). Thus, monitoring by TBP was associated with subsequent melanoma diagnoses of lower stage and depth and greater overall survival.