Sentinel lymph node micrometastasis may predict non‐sentinel involvement in cutaneous melanoma patients

Department of Surgical Oncology, Institute of Oncology, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Journal of Surgical Oncology (Impact Factor: 3.24). 07/2008; 98(1):46-8. DOI: 10.1002/jso.21066
Source: PubMed


Cutaneous melanoma patients with positive sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) are being treated with completion lymph node dissection (CLND). The aim of our study was to determine the predictive value of sentinel lymph node (SLN) micrometastases (metastases less than 2 mm in diameter) in assessing further lymph node involvement in CLND.
Between 2001 and 2005, we performed 476 SLNB in patients with stages I and II melanoma; 74 had metastases in SLN. We evaluated retrospectively the metastases in SLN according to their size and number. The presence of additional metastases in non-sentinel lymph nodes after CLND was evaluated.
Thirty-nine patients had micrometastases, 22 of them were solitary, 3 were double, and 14 patients had multiple micrometastases in SLN. Out of 22 solitary micrometastases, no patient had additional metastases in non-sentinel lymph nodes. From 3 patients with double micrometastases, 1 patient had further metastases in non-sentinel lymph nodes after CLND. Out of 14 patients with multiple micrometastases, 2 had additional metastases in CLND.
No patient with a single SLN micrometastasis had further metastases after CLND in our series. CLND may not be beneficial after detecting a single micrometastasis in SLN.

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    • "As we have shown in our previous study, metastases in non-sentinel lymph nodes in patients with micrometastases in SLN are a rare event regardless of the lymphatic region. In fact, no patient with a single SLN micrometastasis in any region had metastases in CLND.7 "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to determine whether the presence of inguinal sentinel lymph node (SLN) metastases smaller than 2 mm (micrometastases) subdivided according to the number of micrometastases predicts additional, non-sentinel inguinal, iliac or obturator lymph node involvement in completion lymph node dissection (CLND). PATIENTS AND METHODS.: Positive inguinal SLN was detected in 58 patients (32 female, 26 male, median age 55 years) from 743 consecutive and prospectively enrolled patients with primary cutaneous melanoma stage I and II who were treated with SLN biopsy between 2001 and 2007. Micrometastases in inguinal SLN were detected in 32 patients, 14 were single, 2 were double, and 16 were multiple. Twenty-six patients had macrometastases. No patient with any micrometastases or a single SLN macrometastasis in the inguinal region had any iliac/obturator non-sentinel metastases after CLND in our series. Furthermore, no patient with single SLN micrometastasis in the inguinal region had any non-sentinel metastases at all after CLND in our series. In these cases respective CLND might be omitted.
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the micromorphometric Starz-classification in melanoma patients. The micromorphometric Starz-classification suggests that melanoma patients with a sentinel node metastasis invading no more than 0.3 mm (S-I) or 0.31 to 1.0 mm (S-II) below the capsular level can be spared further surgery, while invasion of the metastasis of more than 1.0 mm (S-III) implies a need for completion dissection. Seventy patients with sentinel node metastases were studied. Twenty patients with an S-I or S-II classification were spared further surgery and 50 S-III patients underwent completion dissection. The median follow-up time was 33 months. No lymph node recurrences were detected in the 20 S-I, II patients. Six of the 50 S-III patients (12%) had additional involved nodes in the dissection specimen. In these patients no recurrences developed in the cleared regional basins. Overall 3-year survival was 100% in the S-I, II patients and 80% in the S-III patients (P = 0.04). Three-year disease-free survival rates were 83% and 60%, respectively (P = 0.40). : This study suggests that further surgery is unnecessary in S-I and S-II patients, while it does seem prudent to carry out completion dissection in S-III patients. The distinct survival difference between the 2 groups of patients suggests that the S-classification also has prognostic implications.
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