Pigment cell research2000; 13(1); 47-51; doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0749.2000.130109.x

The study of cutaneous melanomas in Camargue-type gray-skinned horses (2): epidemiological survey.

Abstract: An epidemiological survey was made on cutaneous melanomas occurring in Camargue-type, gray-skinned horses in southern France. The population investigated was composed of 264 horses, which were selected from the Camargue horse stud registry and were allowed to be examined by the owners. The presence of tumors was inspected macroscopically according to the standardized protocols of veterinary medicine specialists, and some tumors were subjected to macroscopic histopathological examination. The results indicated that: 1) the prevalence of melanomas in the overall population was 31.4%; 2) the odds ratio was obtained for an age class of 5-9 years, in which most melanomas were presumed to occur; 3) the incidence of melanomas was significantly correlated with age, giving a prevalence of 67% at ages > 15 years; 4) the size and number of tumorous lesions were significantly related to age; 5) little correlation was observed between melanoma incidence and gender; and 6) the most frequently occurring body site of these tumors was underneath the tail. Because of their frequent occurrence in shaded body regions, sun exposure was not likely to be a risk factor for melanoma formation in these horses. In view of the slightly darker skin pigmentation in these horses at younger ages, the unique characteristics of their melanocytes may be associated with melanoma formation.
Publication Date: 2000-04-13 PubMed ID: 10761996DOI: 10.1034/j.1600-0749.2000.130109.xGoogle Scholar: Lookup
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This research paper presents an epidemiological study on the occurrence of skin cancers called cutaneous melanomas in a specific breed of gray-skinned horses, the Camargue-type, in southern France.

Study Population and Methods

  • The study incorporated a population of 264 Camargue-type horses. These horses were selected from the Camargue horse stud registry and were examined with the consent of their owners.
  • Researchers carried out a macroscopic inspection for tumors using standardized veterinary medicine protocols. Some of the detected tumors were subjected to further macroscopic histopathological examination for additional details.

Main Findings

  • The study found that the overall prevalence of cutaneous melanomas in the examined population was 31.4%.
  • The most prevalent age range for melanomas to occur was between 5-9 years, from which the researchers calculated an odds ratio.
  • The research showed a significant correlation of melanoma incidence with age, leading to a prevalence rate of 67% for horses aged above 15 years.
  • The analysis also indicated significant correlation between the size and number of tumorous lesions with the age of the horses.
  • However, there was negligible correlation observed between the presence of melanomas and the gender of the horses.
  • The most commonly affected area of the body by these tumors was found to be underneath the tail.

Implications of the Results

  • Because tumours often occurred in shaded regions of the body, the study suggested that sun exposure was not a likely risk factor for melanoma formation in these horses.
  • The researchers theorized that, due to the horses’ slightly darker skin pigmentation at younger ages, the distinctive properties of their melanocytes (pigment-producing cells) may be linked to melanoma formation.

Cite This Article

Fleury C, Bérard F, Leblond A, Faure C, Ganem N, Thomas L. (2000). The study of cutaneous melanomas in Camargue-type gray-skinned horses (2): epidemiological survey. Pigment Cell Res, 13(1), 47-51. https://doi.org/10.1034/j.1600-0749.2000.130109.x


ISSN: 0893-5785
NlmUniqueID: 8800247
Country: Denmark
Language: English
Volume: 13
Issue: 1
Pages: 47-51

Researcher Affiliations

Fleury, C
  • INSERM U346, Laboratoire de Glycobiologie de la Progression Tumorale (appliquée au mélanome), UFR de médecine Lyon Sud-165, Oullins, France.
Bérard, F
    Leblond, A
      Faure, C
        Ganem, N
          Thomas, L

            MeSH Terms

            • Age Distribution
            • Animals
            • Color
            • Female
            • Horse Diseases / epidemiology
            • Horses
            • Male
            • Melanocytes
            • Melanoma / epidemiology
            • Melanoma / veterinary
            • Pigments, Biological
            • Prevalence
            • Sex Distribution
            • Skin Neoplasms / epidemiology
            • Skin Neoplasms / veterinary


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