, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 8-15
Date: 18 Dec 2009

Clinicopathologic prognostic markers of survival: an analysis of 259 patients with malignant melanoma ≥1 mm

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The histopathologic status of the sentinel node (SN) and the ulceration of the primary tumor are important indicators of the clinical outcome of melanoma patients. The purpose of this study was to investigate potential correlations between prognostic factors and the sentinel lymph node status as well as their influence on disease-free survival (DFS), distant metastases-free survival (DMFS), and overall survival (OS). The medical records of 259 melanoma patients who underwent sentinel lymph node dissection between 2000 and 2006 were analyzed. DFS, DMFS, and OS were assessed. A uni- and a multivariate analysis to determine prognostic factors were performed. Histologic type, Clark’s level, and Breslow’s tumor thickness were the only parameters that showed a significant correlation with a positive SN. The univariate analysis revealed SN positivity (DFS and DMFS: p < 0.001; OS: p = 0.039) and ulceration (DFS: p < 0.001; DMFS: p = 0.001; OS: p = 0.003) to be significant prognostic markers. However, ulceration was the only independent prognostic factor for OS that was upheld by the multivariate analysis (p = 0.006; HR 3.89; CI 1.48–10.27). In stage I/II melanoma patients, ulceration of the primary tumor was the strongest prognostic factor for RFS, DMFS, and OS and superior to the pathology status of the SN.