News Release

EMBARGOED until Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Media Contact:
Elizabeth Clausen, +1 414-276-2145,

Note to media: See abstract 404

Increased risk of malignant melanoma in Parkinson's disease patients shows need for dermatologic screening

SYDNEY – Malignant melanoma (MM) cases in Parkinson’s disease are found at a higher rate than compared to the general public according to a study presented today at the 17th International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders. Overall cancer risk in Parkinson’s disease is generally lower.

Radu Constantinescu, MD, of the University of Rochester Medical Center, Center for Human Experimental Therapeutics, Rochester, NY, USA, and colleagues investigated the risk of malignant melanoma in the early, treated PD patients of the NIH Exploratory Trials in PD (NET-PD) Long-term Study-1 compared to the general public. Results showed that 13 of the study subjects developed new cases of MM although only expecting about three new cases. They also compared the NET-PD subjects to DATATOP populations of 1987-1988 finding similar results.

“This prospective assessment of melanoma subjects with early, treated PD followed carefully as part of the NIH exploratory trials in PD, Long-term Study -1 (LS-1) documents an approximately four-fold higher risk of developing melanoma in PD subjects, comparable to what was observed almost 20 years ago in the DATATOP trial,” says MDS President-Elect Matthew Stern, MD, Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center, University of Pennsylvania. “This study underscores the importance for dermatologic screening in PD patients. Further, elucidating the relationship between PD and melanoma may shed light on the pathogenesis of both disorders.”

About the 17th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders:
Meeting attendees are gathered to learn the latest research findings and state-of-the-art treatment options in Movement Disorders, including Parkinson's disease. More than 2,000 physicians and medical professionals from 70 countries will be able to view over 1,300 scientific abstracts submitted by clinicians from around the world.

About The Movement Disorder Society:
The Movement Disorder Society, an international society of over 4,000 clinicians, scientists, and other healthcare professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. For more information about The Movement Disorder Society, visit