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REVIEWS  CUTANEOUS MALIGNANCY UPDATE: MELANOMA IN 2007 

Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2007 April;142(2):123-9

Copyright © 2007 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Prognostic factors in localized cutaneous melanoma with particular reference to thin primary lesions

Messina J. L. 1, 2, Sondak V. K. 2, 3

1 Department of Pathology University of South Florida College of Medicine Tampa, Florida, USA 2 Department of Interdisciplinary Oncology Cutaneous Oncology Program H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute University of South Florida College of Medicine Tampa, Florida, USA 3 Department of Surgery University of South Florida College of Medicine Tampa, Florida, USA


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Sentinel lymph node biopsy is a highly accurate method for the staging of patients with localized cutaneous melanoma. The status of the sentinel node is the single most important predictor of recurrence and survival in patients with clinically node-negative melanoma. While this procedure has found widespread acceptance in treatment of patients with melanoma >1 mm in thickness, its use in patients with thinner lesions is more controversial. Overall, approximately 5% of all melanoma patients with lesions ≤1 mm are reported to harbor identifiable metastases in the sentinel nodes at the time of diagnosis. There is clearly an unmet clinical need for improved predictive biomarkers of regional metastasis in clinically localized primary melanomas, especially in patients with thin melanomas. This review summarizes the present knowledge regarding the relationship between clinical and histologic prognostic factors related to sentinel node involvement in melanoma, with particular reference to this important group of thin lesions, and introduces the concept of considering host polymorphisms as well as tumor-derived factors as potential biomarkers for refining our understanding of melanoma metastasis.

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