Surveillance of Sentinel Node-Positive Melanoma Patients Who Receive Adjuvant Therapy Without Undergoing Completion Lymph Node Dissection

Academic Article


  • Introduction: Adjuvant therapy trials required completion lymph node dissection (CLND) for sentinel lymph node (SLN)-positive melanoma prior to systemic treatment, but nodal surveillance without CLND is now common. For patients receiving adjuvant therapy without CLND, patterns of recurrence are unknown and the value of regional nodal ultrasound alongside cross-sectional imaging is not well-defined. Methods: In a retrospective cohort of SLN-positive melanoma patients managed with nodal surveillance from June 2014 to June 2019, we evaluated the association between adjuvant treatment and location of first recurrence (locoregional, nodal, distant, or multisite) using Chi-square tests. We compared methods of recurrence detection and cost by surveillance intensity using Chi-square and Dunn’s tests. Results: Among 177 nodal surveillance patients, 66 (37%) received adjuvant therapy. Median follow-up was 24 months, during which 48 patients (27%) recurred. Adjuvant treatment did not alter patterns of initial recurrence (p = 0.76). Adjuvant therapy recipients more often had both nodal ultrasound and cross-sectional imaging surveillance (p < 0.01). Among 13 isolated nodal recurrences, 85% were within the first year and 85% were detected by examination and/or ultrasound. Increasing surveillance intensity was not associated with recurrence detection rates but increased overall cost and cost per detected recurrence. Conclusion: Regardless of adjuvant treatment, most nodal recurrences occurred in the first year and were initially detected clinically or by ultrasound. Findings support continued use of examination and nodal basin ultrasound in addition to any planned cross-sectional imaging surveillance.
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    Author List

  • Broman KK; Bettampadi D; Pérez-Morales J; Sun J; Kirichenko D; Carr MJ; Eroglu Z; Tarhini AA; Khushalani N; Schabath MB
  • Start Page

  • 6978
  • End Page

  • 6985
  • Volume

  • 28
  • Issue

  • 12