In a nutshell
The authors aimed to determine whether reducing surgery margins would increase cancer recurrence in melanoma patients.
Wide local excision is a common form of treatment in patients with melanoma. It involves surgically removing the cancerous tissue and a layer of healthy tissue surrounding the melanoma. Margins are used to determine how much healthy tissue should be removed and depends on the tumor size and thickness.
Methods & findings
The aim of this study was to determine whether reducing surgery margins would increase recurrence in melanoma patients.
79 patients were used in this study with a follow-up time of 71.3 months. Patients were split into two groups: 53.2% of patients received standard margins during surgery and 46.8% of patients received reduced margins during surgery.
8.9% of patients experienced melanoma recurrence. 91.9% of patients who received standard margins achieved local recurrence-free survival after surgery (survival without return of cancer near the original site) compared to 90.4% in patients who received reduced margins. The average time from surgery to recurrence was 13.5 months in patients who received standard margins and 17.7 months in patients who received reduced margins.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that reducing surgery margins did not increase cancer recurrence in melanoma patients.
The fine print
This study involved a small number of patients and requires larger numbers to be widely applied.
If you are considering surgery as a treatment option for melanoma, please consult your doctor for potential benefits and risks.
Published By :
Feb 24, 2015