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Improved Prognosis Seen With Regression of Primary Cutaneous Melanoma

Findings seen in patients with primary cutaneous melanoma undergoing SLN biopsy and those who progressed to unresectable stage

By Dermsquared Editorial Team | March 27, 2024

WEDNESDAY, March 27, 2024 -- For patients with primary cutaneous melanoma undergoing sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy and for those who progressed to an unresectable stage, regression of melanoma is associated with improved prognosis, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Nikolaus B. Wagner, M.D., from Kantonsspital St. Gallen in Switzerland, and colleagues conducted a retrospective review of 1,179 patients with newly diagnosed melanoma undergoing SLN biopsy between 2010 and 2015 and with available information on histopathologic regression.

The researchers found that patients with regressive melanoma showed favorable relapse-free, distant metastasis-free, and melanoma-specific survival (hazard ratios, 0.52, 0.56, and 0.35, respectively). There was an association observed for regression with negative SLN (odds ratio, 0.48). Regression was associated with favorable progression-free survival under immune checkpoint inhibition (hazard ratio, 0.43) in patients who progressed to an unresectable stage, but not under targeted therapy or chemotherapy.

"In our opinion, presence or absence of regression could be used to improve prognostic risk stratification in patients who are candidates for SLN biopsy," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical industry.


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