In a nutshell
This study investigated if histological regression (HR – replacement of cancer tumor cells by inflammation) can be used to predict the course of disease (prognosis) in patients with stage III (advanced) melanoma. The study found that histological regression was associated with a better prognosis in patients with stage III melanoma.
Histological regression is replacement of cancer cells by inflammation. Melanoma can spread to lymph nodes and when this happens patients are then defined as sentinel lymph node (SLN) positive. The effect of HR on melanoma prognosis in patients with positive SLN is not known. This study was done to understand if HR had any effect on overall survival in stage III melanomas with positive SLN.
Methods & findings
This study analysed clinical data from 264 patients with melanom and a positive SLN. Histological regression and survival were evaluated for each patient. Analysis of histological regression was associated with a more accurate prediction of how long patients with melanoma would survive.
The rate of death at 3 years for a patient with SLN positive melanoma with no evidence of HR was 17.1%. This risk decreased to 6.1% in patients with HR. The rate of death at 5 years was 25.8% for patients without HR. This risk was reduced to 9.6% in patients with HR
The bottom line
The study concluded that histological regression at diagnosis was associated with a decreased risk of death in patients with stage III melanoma.
The fine print
This study analysed data previously collected which may affect the results.
Speak to your doctor about histological regression analysis.
Published By :
British Journal of Cancer
Nov 09, 2017