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Ann Surg Oncol. 2014 Apr;21(4):1075-81. doi: 10.1245/s10434-013-3464-x. Epub 2014 Feb 15.

Age as a predictor of sentinel node metastasis among patients with localized melanoma: an inverse correlation of melanoma mortality and incidence of sentinel node metastasis among young and old patients.

Author information

1
Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA, balch@asoeditorial.org.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

We have previously reported that older patients with clinical stage I and II primary cutaneous. Melanoma had lower survival rates compared to younger patients. We postulated that the incidence of nodal metastasis would therefore be higher among older melanoma patients.

METHODS:

The expanded American Joint Committee on Cancer melanoma staging database contains a cohort of 7,756 melanoma patients who presented without clinical evidence of regional lymph node or distant metastasis and who underwent a sentinel node biopsy procedure as a component of their staging assessment.

RESULTS:

Although older patients had primary melanoma features associated with more aggressive biology, we paradoxically observed a significant decrease in the incidence of sentinel node metastasis as patient age increased. Overall, the highest incidence of sentinel node metastasis was 25.8 % in patients under 20 years of age, compared to 15.5 % in patients 80 years and older (p < 0.001). In contrast, 5-year mortality rates for clinical stage II patients ranged from a low of 20 % for those 20-40 years of age up to 38 % for those over 70 years of age. Patient age was an independent predictor of sentinel node metastasis in a multifactorial analysis (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS:

Patients with clinical stage I and II melanoma under 20 years of age had a higher incidence of sentinel lymph node metastasis but, paradoxically, a more favorable survival outcome compared to all other age groups. In contrast, patients >70 years had the most aggressive primary melanoma features and a higher mortality rate compared to all other age groups but a lower incidence of sentinel lymph node metastasis.

PMID:
24531700
PMCID:
PMC4121329
DOI:
10.1245/s10434-013-3464-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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