Outcomes and prognostic factors in nodular melanomas

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: The nodular subtype of cutaneous melanoma has a more pronounced vertical phase and less of a radial growth phase compared with other histologic subtypes. This study was performed to determine prognostic factors and outcomes for nodular melanomas. Methods: A post hoc analysis of a prospective clinical trial was performed in all patients with nodular histologic subtype. Univariate and multivariate analyses of factors associated with disease-free survival (DFS), overall survival (OS), and local and in-transit recurrence-free survival (LITRFS) were performed. Kaplan-Meier survival analyses were performed. Results: There were 736 patients available for analysis, and 189 (25.7%) were sentinel lymph node (SLN) positive. Breslow thickness of ≥2.3 mm, presence of ulceration, nonextremity tumor location, positive SLN, and non-SLN-positive status were independent risk factors for worse OS and DFS. Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated that ulceration predicted worse OS and DFS in all nodular melanoma patients, and in both SLN-positive and -negative subsets. The presence of ulceration and a positive SLN together predicted significantly worse DFS and OS. Conclusion: The most important risk factors that determine prognosis in nodular melanomas are SLN status and ulceration. The presence of both a positive SLN and ulceration significantly affect DFS and OS, and to a lesser degree LITRFS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)652-660
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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