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Deep Fascia Excision No Help With Cutaneous Melanoma

No differences seen in recurrence, survival, or metastases with melanoma thicker than 2 mm

MONDAY, Jan. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Excision of the deep fascia does not improve the outcome of patients with cutaneous melanomas thicker than 2 millimeters, according to a study published in the December issue of the British Journal of Dermatology.

Robert E. Hunger, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Bern in Switzerland, and colleagues retrospectively reviewed cases (1996 to 2012) of 213 patients (mean age, 62.6 years) with melanomas thicker than 2 millimeters who underwent excision with a 1-centimeter margin. Outcome comparisons were made between the fascia-excised and the fascia-preserved groups. Median follow-up was 1,547 days.

The researchers found that the mean Breslow depth was 4.2 millimeters. There were no significant differences between the study groups in death attributable to melanoma, local recurrence, or locoregional and distant metastases. There were also no significant differences in disease-free or overall survival.

"We believe that excision of the deep fascia does not improve the outcome of melanomas thicker than 2 millimeters," the authors write.

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