Clinicopathologic and survival differences between upper and lower extremity melanomas

Michael E. Egger, Brittany L. Tabler, Erik M. Dunki-Jacobs, Glenda G. Callender, Charles R. Scoggins, Robert C.G. Martin, Amy R. Quillo, Arnold J. Stromberg, Kelly M. McMasters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This analysis was performed to compare differences in clinicopathologic factors, sentinel lymph node (SLN) status, and survival between upper extremity (UE) and lower extremity (LE) melanoma patients. Post hoc analysis of a prospective clinical trial was performed of all patients with extremity melanomas with complete data. Survival was evaluated with Kaplan-Meier analysis. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed. A total of 1115 patients aged 18 to 70 years with extremity melanomas ≥ 1.0mm Breslow thickness were analyzed; all underwent SLN biopsy with completion lymphadenectomy for a tumor-positive SLN. Compared with UE patients, LE melanoma patients were younger, predominantly female, and had a higher rate of SLN metastasis. Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed worse 5-year disease-free survival (DFS) and worse local and intransit recurrence-free survival in LE versus UE melanoma patients, but no difference in overall survival (OS). Subgroup analysis revealed that older patients (age>51 years) with LE melanomas had worse DFS, local and in-transit recurrence-free-survival, and OS. LE tumor location was not an independent risk factor for OS or DFS. Compared with UE melanoma patients, those with LE melanomas have a greater risk of tumor-positive SLN and local/in-transit recurrence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)779-787
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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