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Disease Profile

Acral lentiginous melanoma

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)

ALM; Subungual melanoma; Palmar/plantar melanoma;


Rare Cancers


Acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM) is a type of melanoma that occurs on the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet. The condition can develop in normal-appearing skin or within an existing mole. ALM begins as a flat patch of discolored skin that may enlarge slowly over time. Although the cancer cells often remain contained at the skins surface (epidermis) initially, ALM can become invasive and spread as the condition advances. Like other flat forms of melanoma, it can be recognized by the ABCDE rule. Although ALM affects men and women of all skin colors equally, is it most commonly diagnosed in people over age 40. The underlying cause of ALM is poorly understood. It is not related to sun exposure like other forms of skin cancer. Initial treatment generally consists of surgery to remove the skin lesion. Additional therapy (such as radiation therapy or immunotherapy) may then be recommended depending on the severity of the condition.[1][2]


FDA-Approved Treatments

The medication(s) listed below have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as orphan products for treatment of this condition. Learn more orphan products.


Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

Organizations Supporting this Disease

    Learn more

    These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

    In-Depth Information

    • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
    • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
    • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Acral lentiginous melanoma. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


      1. Dr Amanda Oakley. Acral lentiginous melanoma. DermNet New Zealand. 2011; https://www.dermnetnz.org/topics/acral-lentiginous-melanoma/.
      2. Goydos JS, Shoen SL. Acral Lentiginous Melanoma. Cancer Treat Res. 2016; 167:321-329.