Sentinel lymph node biopsy in patients with T1a cutaneous malignant melanoma: A multicenter cohort study

Adrienne B. Shannon, Cimarron E. Sharon, Richard J. Straker, Michael J. Carr, Andrew J. Sinnamon, Kita Bogatch, Alexandra Thaler, Nicholas Kelly, John T. Vetto, Graham Fowler, Danielle DePalo, Vernon K. Sondak, John T. Miura, Mark B. Faries, Edmund K. Bartlett, Jonathan S. Zager, Giorgos C. Karakousis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Sentinel lymph node biopsy is not routinely recommended for T1a cutaneous melanoma due to the overall low risk of positivity. Prognostic factors for positive sentinel lymph node (SLN+) in this population are poorly characterized. Objective: To determine factors associated with SLN+ in patients with T1a melanoma. Methods: Patients with pathologic T1a (<0.80 mm, nonulcerated) cutaneous melanoma from 5 high-volume melanoma centers from 2001 to 2020 who underwent wide local excision with sentinel lymph node biopsy were included in the study. Patient and tumor characteristics associated with SLN+ were analyzed by univariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses. Age was dichotomized into ≤42 (25% quartile cutoff) and >42 years. Results: Of the 965 patients identified, the overall SLN+ was 4.4% (N = 43). Factors associated with SLN+ were age ≤42 years (7.5% vs 3.7%; odds ratio [OR], 2.14; P = .03), head/neck primary tumor location (9.2% vs 4%; OR, 2.75; P = .04), lymphovascular invasion (21.4% vs 4.2%; OR, 5.64; P = .01), and ≥2 mitoses/mm2 (8.2% vs 3.4%; OR, 2.31; P = .03). Patients <42 years with ≥2 mitoses/mm2 (N = 38) had a SLN+ rate of 18.4%. Limitations: Retrospective study. Conclusion: SLN+ is low in patients with T1a melanomas, but younger age, lymphovascular invasion, mitogenicity, and head/neck primary site appear to confer a higher risk of SLN+.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-59
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • melanoma
  • prognosis
  • sentinel lymph node biopsy
  • surgery
  • survival
  • wide local excision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


Dive into the research topics of 'Sentinel lymph node biopsy in patients with T1a cutaneous malignant melanoma: A multicenter cohort study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this