The course of stage III melanoma in accordance with the severity of node involvement

Tas F., Erturk K.

CURRENT MEDICAL RESEARCH AND OPINION, vol.35, no.10, pp.1819-1824, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Objectives: Pathological stage III melanoma patients have variable clinical presentation and outcome when divided by substages, and the number of metastatic lymph nodes is the most significant independent factor. We aimed to determine the clinical features and natural course of node positive melanoma, such as first relapse and final outcome, and other factors influencing them. Methods: A total of 362 node positive melanoma patients were included in the study and reviewed retrospectively. Results: Cases were as follows: N1 (56.6%); N2 (27.1%); and N3 (16.3%). Lymphovascular invasion was found significant among node positive subtypes; it was predominant in patients with involvement of two or more nodes (p < .05). The majority of the relapses were locoregional alone (43.4%) and distant alone (31.3%). The lung/pleura was the most frequently metastasized site (32.1%). Time to relapse was the longest for N1 (20.8 months) (p < .05). Five and 10 year relapse-free survival (RFS) rates were 40% and 38%, respectively. Nodular histopathology, ulcerated lesion and higher mitotic rates carried worse RFS for all patients and also for N1. Five- and 10 year overall survival (OS) rates were 49% and 40%, respectively. Older age, nodular histopathology, higher mitotic rates and relapse of disease (p = .001) were the independent variables that were inversely correlated with OS for all patients. Conclusion: Comparative analyses of node positive melanoma suggested that there was not only a remarkable heterogeneity in the recurrence and survival rates but also a distinctive pattern among independent prognostic indicators in accordance with the severity of nodal involvement.