In a nutshell
This study looked at factors that were associated with better survival in patients who had surgery for advanced melanoma. The study found that having clear surgical margins, where the cancer has not spread to surrounding tissues, and having a low white blood cell ratio were associated with longer survival.
Melanoma is often treated with surgery, where the whole tumor is removed. There are some factors that can be associated with a higher chance of survival. There are a number of white blood cells in your body which can influence cancer. Two of these white blood cells are called neutrophils and lymphocytes. The neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR) has previously been associated with survival outcomes in patients with metastatic melanoma(where the cancer has spread to other organs). Clear surgical margins occur when, on examination of the tissue that was taken out during surgery, no cancer cells were seen on the edges of the tissue. This is a way to be clear that there are no remaining cancer cells left in the body.
Methods & findings
There were 95 patients with advanced melanoma included in this study. They all had surgery to remove the melanoma. On average, patients were followed up for 90 months.
The average survival time after surgery was 49 months. After one year, 92% of patients were still alive. After five years, 50% were still alive. Patients who had clear surgical margins survived longer on average (53 months survival compared to 20 months survival). Patients who had a low NLR survived longer on average compared to those with a higher NLR.
The bottom line
The study found that having clear surgical margins and a low NLR were associated with longer survival in patients undergoing surgery for metastatic melanoma.
The fine print
This was quite a small study, with only 95 people. These findings support those from other studies.
Published By :
Sep 09, 2018