Research Papers:

Prognostic role of sentinel lymph node biopsy for patients with cutaneous melanoma: A retrospective study of surveillance, epidemiology, and end-result population-based data

Jie Chen, Yu Xu, Ye Zhou, Yanong Wang, Huiyan Zhu and Yingqiang Shi _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:45671-45677. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.10140

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Jie Chen1,*, Yu Xu1,*, Ye Zhou1, Yanong Wang1, Huiyan Zhu1, Yingqiang Shi1

1Department of Gastric Cancer and Soft Tissue Sarcomas, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, and Department of Oncology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Yingqiang Shi, email: [email protected]

Huiyan Zhu, email: [email protected]

Keywords: melanoma, SLNB, SEER, survival analysis

Received: February 28, 2016     Accepted: June 03, 2016     Published: June 17, 2016


Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) is a sensitive operation for finding micro-metastasis in patients with cutaneous melanoma without evidence of clinically positive lymph node findings. However, until now, no clinical trials or retrospective studies with large samples have been performed to investigate the clinical role of SLNB for cutaneous melanoma patients. In this study, we used the data of cutaneous melanoma from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database to compare overall survival (OS) and melanoma-specific survival (MSS) outcomes with clinical lymph node and SLN status. In total, 56,285 eligible patients were identified in this study. Cutaneous melanoma patients with clinically-positive lymph nodes had significantly shorter OS (46.1% vs 78.6%, p = 0.000) and MSS (55.8% vs 90.5, p = 0.000) compared with clinically-negative lymph node patients. Patients who underwent SLNB had significantly longer 5-year rates for OS (84.3% vs 70.1, p = 0.000) and MSS (91.5% vs 90.3, p = 0.000) compared with patients who did not undergo SLNB (lymph node observation). Patients with a negative SLNB had a significantly longer 5-year rate for OS (86.5% vs 68.1% vs 46.1, p = 0.000) and MSS (93.7% vs 75.1% 55.8%, p = 0.000) than patients who were SLNB-positive or had clinically-positive lymph nodes. This present study showed that the status of SLN is a valuable prognostic factor in patients with Breslow thickness greater than 1 mm in clinically-negative lymph node cutaneous melanoma.

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