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Arch Dermatol. 2002 May;138(5):603-8.

Histological characteristics of metastasizing thin melanomas: a case-control study of 43 cases.

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1
Department of Dermatology, Northwestern University Medical School, 675 N St Clair, Suite 19-150, Chicago, IL 60611, USA. j-guitart@nwu.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To study clinical and histological features associated with metastasizing thin melanomas (MTMs).

DESIGN:

Case-control study of clinicopathological features of patients with MTMs by a panel of 10 dermatopathologists.

SETTING:

Members of the North American Melanoma Pathology Study Group selected the cases from the melanoma databases at 8 academic institutions.

PATIENTS:

Forty-three patients with MTMs (<1 mm thick) and 42 control subjects without metastasis matched for age, sex, tumor site, and Breslow thickness.

INTERVENTION:

None.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Clinical (age, sex, site of lesion, stage at diagnosis, metastasis site, disease-free survival, and outcome) and histological (Breslow thickness, Clark level, growth phase, regression, and inflammatory response) features of patients with MTMs vs controls.

RESULTS:

There was an overrepresentation of axial tumors among patients with MTMs. Extensive regression was present in 18 patients (42%) with MTM vs 2 matched control subjects (5%) (95% confidence interval, 21%-53%; P =.001). Other histological variables were not significantly different. Two patients had melanomas in situ with subsequent metastasis.

CONCLUSIONS:

Thin melanomas with extensive regression represent a group at higher risk for the development of metastasis. Furthermore, the risk of metastasis cannot be dismissed in cases of melanoma in situ.

PMID:
12020220
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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