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Low Recurrence Seen for Excision of Melanoma in Situ With 5-mm Margin

99.1 percent of the 351 MISs identified from 292 patients did not have clinical recurrence after excision

By Elana Gotkine (HealthDay News) | June 26, 2024

WEDNESDAY, June 26, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Excision of melanoma in situ (MIS) with a 5-mm margin on low-risk body sites has a low rate of recurrence, according to a study published online June 26 in JAMA Dermatology.

Cong Sun, M.D., from the Mater Hospital Brisbane Raymond Terrace in Australia, and colleagues examined the rate of recurrence of MIS excised with a 5-mm margin in a case series that examined all MIS lesions from a single private dermatology clinic between Jan. 1, 2011, and Nov. 30, 2018. Data were included from 351 MISs from 292 patients: 50.4, 30.5, and 19.1 percent of the lesions were superficial spreading melanoma, lentigo maligna, and lentiginous MIS, respectively.

The lesions were most commonly located on the trunk, followed by upper limb and lower limb (47.9, 27.4, and 16.8 percent, respectively); only two lesions (0.6 percent) were located on the scalp. The researchers found that most of the lesions were small; 78.1 and 88.9 percent had a length <10 mm and a width <10 mm, respectively. Following the current guidelines, after excision with a 5-mm clinical margin, 99.1 percent of the lesions did not have clinical recurrence. Only three lesions (0.9 percent) had local recurrence, with no metastatic spread observed.

"This shows that using a 5-mm margin for MIS of smaller size (<10 mm) may reduce morbidity and cost associated with treatment without compromising patient outcomes in a selected population of lesions," the authors write.

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