Early sentinel-node biopsy linked with worse survival

September 15, 2015


In patients with primary cutaneous melanoma, there is generally a delay between excisional biopsy of the primary tumour and sentinel-node biopsy. The objective of this study is to analyse the prognostic implications of this delay.

Patients and method
This was an observational, retrospective, cohort study in four tertiary referral hospitals. A total of 1963 patients were included. The factor of interest was the interval between the date of the excisional biopsy of the primary melanoma and the date of the sentinel-node biopsy (delay time) in the prognosis. The primary outcome was melanoma-specific survival and disease-free survival.

A delay time of 40 days or less (hazard ratio (HR), 1.7; confidence interval (CI), 1.2–2.5) increased Breslow thickness (Breslow ⩾2 mm, HR, >3.7; CI, 1.4–10.7), ulceration (HR, 1.6; CI, 1.1–2.3), sentinel-node metastasis (HR, 2.9; CI, 1.9–4.2), and primary melanoma localised in the head or neck were independently associated with worse melanoma-specific survival (all P < 0.03). The stratified analysis showed that the effect of delay time was at the expense of the patients with a negative sentinel-node biopsy and without regression.

Early sentinel-node biopsy is associated with worse survival in patients with cutaneous melanoma.


Tejera-Vaquerizo, A, et al. Effect of time to sentinel-node biopsy on the prognosis of cutaneous melanoma. European Journal of Cancer. 2015;51(13);1780-1793. http://www.ejcancer.com/article/S0959-8049(15)00456-6/abstract

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