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Ann Surg Oncol. 2008 Jun;15(6):1566-76. doi: 10.1245/s10434-008-9885-2. Epub 2008 Apr 15.

Complete lymph node dissection for sentinel node-positive melanoma: assessment of practice patterns in the United States.

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  • 1Cancer Programs, American College Surgeons, Chicago, IL, USA. k-bilimoria@northwestern.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Currently, complete lymph node dissection (CLND) is recommended after identification of a metastatic lymph node by sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB). Guidelines suggest that CLND should be performed as a separate procedure, and a sufficient number of nodes should be examined. Our objective was to examine the utilization, timing, and adequacy of CLND for melanoma in the United States.

METHODS:

From the National Cancer Data Base, patients diagnosed with stage I to III melanoma during 2004-2005 were identified. Multiple logistic regression was used to assess factors associated with CLND utilization, timing (separate operation from SLNB), and adequacy (examination of > or = 10 nodes).

RESULTS:

Of the 44,548 patients identified, 47.5% were pathologic stage IA, 23.8% stage IB, 14.1% stage II, and 14.6% stage III. Of the 17% (2942 of 17,524) with nodal metastases on SLNB, only 50% underwent a CLND. Patients were significantly less likely to undergo a CLND after SLNB if > 75 years old or had lower extremity melanomas. Of the patients who underwent a CLND, only 42% underwent the CLND at a separate procedure after the SLNB. Of those who underwent a CLND, 69.2% had > or = 10 nodes examined. Patients were significantly less likely to have > or = 10 nodes examined if they were > 75 years old or had lower extremity melanomas. Patients treated at NCCN/NCI-designated centers were significantly more likely to undergo nodal evaluation in concordance with established guidelines.

CONCLUSIONS:

Only half of patients with sentinel node-positive melanoma underwent CLND. Quality surveillance measures are needed to monitor, standardize, and improve the care of patients with malignant melanoma.

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PMID:
18414952
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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