CNS tumor
Metastatic tumors
Metastatic melanoma to CNS

Topic Completed: 1 January 2006

Revised: 3 January 2019, last major update January 2006

Copyright: (c) 2002-2017,, Inc.

PubMed Search: "Metastatic melanoma" CNS

Nat Pernick, M.D.
Page views in 2019: 665
Page views in 2020 to date: 350
Cite this page: Pernick N. Metastatic melanoma to CNS. website. Accessed May 26th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Melanoma has high rate of CNS metastases (10 - 40% in clinical studies, higher in autopsy studies)
  • Melanoma is third most common cause of cerebral metastases in most series (after lung and breast primaries)
  • Metastases may be multiple
  • To make the diagnosis, must consider melanoma in advance
  • Poor survival (mean 3 months) after metastases detected
  • References: eMedicine: Secondary CNS Melanomas
Case reports
Gross description
  • Well circumscribed nodules, solid or partially cystic
  • Marked peritumoral edema; variable hemorrhage or necrosis
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Variable pigment, epithelial or spindle cells
Positive stains
Differential diagnosis
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