Sentinel lymph node biopsy is a prognostic measure in pediatric melanoma.
BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB)-based management has been shown to improve disease-free survival in adult melanoma, but there is scant evidence regarding the utility of SLNB in pediatric melanoma. METHODS: The 2004-2011 Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database was queried for patients with primary cutaneous melanoma of Breslow depth>0.75mm and clinically negative nodes. Pediatric patients, defined as less than 20years of age, were grouped by whether they underwent SLNB or not. Kaplan-Meier analysis was performed to compare melanoma-specific survival (MSS) in propensity-matched groups. RESULTS: 310 pediatric patients met study criteria: 261 (84%) underwent SLNB, while 49 (16%) did not. There was no difference in MSS between matched children who received SLNB and those who did not (p=0.36). Among children who received SLNB, a positive SLNB was associated with worse MSS compared to a negative SLNB (89% vs. 100% at 84months, p=0.04). However, children with a positive SLNB had more favorable survival compared to patients >20years of age (88% vs. 66% at 84months, p=0.02). CONCLUSIONS: SLNB does not confer a survival benefit to children with melanoma, but it provides valuable prognostic information regarding MSS.
Kim, J; Sun, Z; Gulack, BC; Adam, MA; Mosca, PJ; Rice, HE; Tracy, ET
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