Reevaluation of the Locoregional Recurrence Rate in Melanoma Patients With a Positive Sentinel Node Compared to Patients With Palpable Nodal Involvement
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The main aims of this study were to evaluate the occurrence of the various forms of locoregional recurrence in sentinel node–positive melanoma patients, to determine whether the different definitions that are being used to describe in-transit metastases influence this rate, and to identify factors associated with locoregional recurrence. A comparison was made with the rate of locoregional recurrence in patients who underwent lymph node dissection for palpable metastases.
Between December 1993 and December 2008, a total of 141 patients underwent completion lymph node dissection because of a tumor-positive sentinel node. In the same period, 178 patients underwent a regional lymph node dissection for palpable nodal metastases.
In the sentinel node–positive patients, the local recurrence rate was 5%, the rate of satellite metastasis was 2%, and for in-transit metastasis, it was 15%. In patients with palpable nodal involvement, these values were 3%, 2%, and 14%, respectively. There was no statistically significant difference in locoregional recurrence-free rates between these two groups of node-positive patients (P = .172). Breslow thickness was the only predictive factor for locoregional recurrence (P = .015).
The rate of locoregional metastases in patients with a tumor-positive sentinel node and patients with palpable nodal involvement is similar. The present study refutes the suggestion that a positive sentinel node indicates a predisposition for developing in-transit metastases.
KeywordsSentinel Node Biopsy Locoregional Recurrence Wide Local Excision Positive Sentinel Node Breslow Thickness
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