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Author Notes:

*A. J. Page: apage2@emory.edu

Academic Editor: Perry Shen


Increasing Age Is Associated with Worse Prognostic Factors and Increased Distant Recurrences despite Fewer Sentinel Lymph Node Positives in Melanoma


Journal Title:

International Journal of Surgical Oncology


Volume 2012


Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Background. Advanced age is associated with a poorer prognosis in patients with melanoma. Despite this established finding, a decreased incidence of positive sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) with advancing age has paradoxically been described. Methods. Using a single-institution database of melanoma patients between 1994 and 2009, the relationship between standard clinicopathologic variables and recurrence based on age was evaluated. Results. 1244 patients who underwent successful SLN biopsies were analyzed (mean followup 80.3 months). Increasing age was independently associated with worse survival on multivariable analysis (P = 0.02). SLN status was more likely to be negative if the patient was older (P = 0.01). Conclusions. Our data supports the paradox that increasing age is associated with a lower frequency of positive-SLN biopsies despite age itself being a poor prognostic factor. We propose that age-dependent variations in the primary tumor and the patient may predispose to a hematogenous route of spread for the older population, leading to worse survival.

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© 2012 A. J. Page et al.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

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