CNS tumor
Metastatic tumors
Metastatic melanoma to CNS

Author: Nat Pernick, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 12 September 2017, last major update January 2006

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

PubMed Search: "Metastatic melanoma" CNS

Cite this page: Pernick, N. Metastatic melanoma to CNS. website. Accessed May 21st, 2018.
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