Development and external validation of a melanoma risk prediction model based on self-assessed risk factors

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50 Citations (Scopus)


Importance: Identifying individuals at high risk of melanoma can optimize primary and secondary prevention strategies. Objective: To develop and externally validate a risk prediction model for incident first-primary cutaneous melanoma using self-assessed risk factors. Design, Setting, and Participants: We used unconditional logistic regression to develop a multivariable risk prediction model. Relative risk estimates from the model were combined with Australian melanoma incidence and competing mortality rates to obtain absolute risk estimates. A risk prediction model was developed using the Australian Melanoma Family Study (629 cases and 535 controls) and externally validated using 4 independent population-based studies: the Western Australia Melanoma Study (511 case-control pairs), Leeds Melanoma Case-Control Study (960 cases and 513 controls), Epigene-QSkin Study (44 544, of which 766 with melanoma), and Swedish Women's Lifestyle and Health Cohort Study (49 259 women, of which 273 had melanoma). Main Outcomes and Measures: We validated model performance internally and externally by assessing discrimination using the area under the receiver operating curve (AUC). Additionally, using the Swedish Women's Lifestyle and Health Cohort Study, we assessed model calibration and clinical usefulness. Results: The risk prediction model included hair color, nevus density, first-degree family history of melanoma, previous nonmelanoma skin cancer, and lifetime sunbed use. On internal validation, the AUC was 0.70 (95%CI, 0.67-0.73). On external validation, the AUC was 0.66 (95%CI, 0.63-0.69) in the Western Australia Melanoma Study, 0.67 (95%CI, 0.65-0.70) in the Leeds Melanoma Case-Control Study, 0.64 (95%CI, 0.62-0.66) in the Epigene-QSkin Study, and 0.63 (95%CI, 0.60-0.67) in the Swedish Women's Lifestyle and Health Cohort Study. Model calibration showed close agreement between predicted and observed numbers of incident melanomas across all deciles of predicted risk. In the external validation setting, there was higher net benefit when using the risk prediction model to classify individuals as high risk compared with classifying all individuals as high risk. Conclusions and Relevance: The melanoma risk prediction model performs well and may be useful in prevention interventions reliant on a risk assessment using self-assessed risk factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)889-896
Number of pages8
JournalJAMA Dermatology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


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