Cancer Med 2019 Aug 18;8(9):4235-4244. Epub 2019 Jun 18.
Dermatology Department, Instituto Valenciano de Oncología, Valencia, Spain.
Mitotic rate is no longer considered a staging criterion for thin melanoma in the 8th edition of the American Joint Committee on Cancer Staging Manual. The aim of this observational study was to identify prognostic factors for thin melanoma and predictors and prognostic significance of sentinel lymph node (SLN) involvement in a large multicenter cohort of patients with melanoma from nine tertiary care hospitals. A total of 4249 consecutive patients with thin melanoma diagnosed from January 1, 1998 to December 31, 2016 were included. The main outcomes were disease-free interval and melanoma-specific survival for the overall population and predictors of SLN metastasis (n = 1083). Associations between survival and SLN status and different clinical and pathologic variables (sex, age, tumor location, mitosis, ulceration, regression, lymphovascular invasion, histologic subtype, Clark level, and Breslow thickness) were analyzed by Cox proportional hazards regression and logistic regression. SLN status was the most important prognostic factor for melanoma-specific survival (hazard ratio, 13.8; 95% CI, 6.1-31.2; P < 0.001), followed by sex, ulceration, and Clark level for patients who underwent SLNB. A mitotic rate of >2 mitoses/mm was the only factor associated with a positive SLN biopsy (odds ratio, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.22-7; P = 0.01. SLN status is the most important prognostic factor in thin melanoma. A high mitotic rate is associated with metastatic SLN involvement. SLN biopsy should be discussed and recommended in patients with thin melanoma and a high mitotic rate.