Prognostic value of sentinel lymph node biopsy in 121 low-risk melanomas (tumour thickness <1.00 mm) on the basis of a long-term follow-up.
ABSTRACT Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) is a widely accepted procedure to accurately stage melanomas with a thickness ≥1 mm. The value of SLNB in thin melanomas is still controversial, especially because long-term observations of these patients are rare. The purpose of the current study was to identify the positive sentinel lymph node (SLN) ratio in low-risk patients with cutaneous melanoma (CM) of thickness less than 1 mm and its possible prognostic value, focusing on long-term follow-up data.
In a retrospective single-centre study performed at the Department of Dermatology and Allergy, University of Bonn, 121 patients who had received SLNB were identified out of 621 patients with a diagnosis of CM of <1.00 mm thickness presenting between September 2000 and February 2009 (mean follow-up time, 50.9 months).
Of the 121 patients, 5 (4.1%) had a positive SLN. All positive SLNs were found in patients with a tumour thickness between 0.90 mm and 1.00 mm. There were no significant differences in the presence of positive SLNs according to Clark level and ulceration status (Clark levels II and III and no ulceration vs. Clark levels IV and V or ulceration), regression, gender or age. Disease-free survival was 100% in the SLN-positive patients. On the other hand, five SLN-negative patients (4.1%) developed disease progression. One of these five progressive patients showed recurrence in the former negative SLN basin (16.7% false-negative rate).
A positive SLN in thin melanomas is uncommon with a prevalence of 4.1% in our study population. We could not identify reliable clinicopathological risk factors which could predict results of SLNB in thin melanomas. Based on our results, SLNB may be considered in patients with a melanoma of thickness in the range 0.90-0.99 mm, because all SLN-positive patients belonged to this subgroup.
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ABSTRACT: Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) is considered the most powerful prognostic indicator of survival in patients with cutaneous melanoma of intermediate thickness (1-4 mm). The use of SLNB in patients with melanoma with a tumour thickness >4.0 mm is still controversial. The purpose of the current study was to determine the prognostic value of SLNB in patients with thick cutaneous melanomas (tumour thickness >4.0 mm) in terms of progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). A retrospective single-centre study was performed at the Department of Dermatology and Allergy, University of Bonn, and the Department of Nuclear Medicine, University of Bonn, based on data collected between September 2000 and January 2010. A total of 142 patients with cutaneous melanoma of thickness >4.00 mm were identified, and 63 of these patients underwent SLNB. Of the 63 patients in whom SLNB was performed, 25 (39.7 %) had a positive SLN. Ulceration was more frequent in SLN-positive patients (44 %) than in SLN-negative patients (18.4 %). The mean follow-up time for the 63 patients was 50.7 months. Positive SLN status predicted a significantly reduced life expectancy in the analyses of PFS and OS. In SLN-positive patients 5-year OS was 76 % and in SLN-negative patients was 84.2 % (p = 0.048). Patients with a combination of ulcerated tumour and positive SLN had the worst prognosis. On the basis of our follow-up data, SLNB has to be recommended in patients with a tumour thickness >4.00 mm after exclusion of lymph node macrometastases or distant metastases. SLN status is the most significant prognostic factor in this group of patients.European Journal of Nuclear Medicine 05/2012; 39(8):1316-25. · 4.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although there is a lack of established survival benefit of sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB), this technique has been increasingly applied in the staging of patients with thin (≤1.00 mm) melanoma (T1Nx), without clear supportive evidence.Irish Journal of Medical Science 11/2014; · 0.51 Impact Factor