Validation of the prognostic value of lymph node ratio in patients with cutaneous melanoma: A population-based study of 8,177 cases

Simone Mocellin, Sandro Pasquali, Carlo Riccardo Rossi, Donato Nitti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: The proportion of positive among examined lymph nodes (lymph node ratio [LNR]) has been recently proposed as an useful and easy-to-calculate prognostic factor for patients with cutaneous melanoma. However, its independence from the standard prognostic system TNM has not been formally proven in a large series of patients. Methods: Patients with histologically proven cutaneous melanoma were identified from the Surveillance Epidemiology End Results database. Disease-specific survival was the clinical outcome of interest. The prognostic ability of conventional factors and LNR was assessed by multivariable survival analysis using the Cox regression model. Results: Eligible patients (n = 8,177) were diagnosed with melanoma between 1998 and 2006. Among lymph node-positive cases (n = 3,872), most LNR values ranged from 1% to 10% (n = 2,187). In the whole series (≥5 lymph nodes examined) LNR significantly contributed to the Cox model independently of the TNM effect on survival (hazard ratio, 1.28; 95% confidence interval, 1.23-1.32; P <.0001). On subgroup analysis, the significant and independent prognostic value of LNR was confirmed both in patients with ≥10 lymph nodes examined (n = 4,381) and in those with TNM stage III disease (n = 3,658). In all cases, LNR increased the prognostic accuracy of the survival model. Conclusion: In this large series of patients, the LNR independently predicted disease-specific survival, improving the prognostic accuracy of the TNM system. Accordingly, the LNR should be taken into account for the stratification of patients' risk, both in clinical and research settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-90
Number of pages8
JournalSurgery
Volume150
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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