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Children More Likely to Have SLN Mets Than Young Adults

Thickness, ulceration strongly predict sentinel lymph node biopsy use in children, young adults

TUESDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Children and adolescents are more likely to have sentinel lymph node (SLN) metastases than young adults, and SLN biopsy use is predicted by tumor thickness and ulceration, according to a study published online Oct. 5 in Cancer.

Euphemia Mu, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues compared the factors associated with SLN biopsy use and metastases in children and young adults with melanoma. Data were extracted from the 2008 Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results databases between 2003 and 2008 for 717 children (age <20 years) and 1,368 young adults (age 20 to 24 years) with melanoma.

The investigators found that, in adjusted analysis, tumor ulceration (odds ratio [OR], 2.4) and greater thickness correlated with SLN biopsy use (OR, 17 for >1 mm versus ≤1 mm), but younger age did not (OR, 1.3; 95 percent confidence interval 0.94 to 1.8). In adjusted analyses, a correlation was found between SLN metastasis and ulceration (OR, 3.0), increased thickness (OR, 6.8, for 2.01 to 4.0 mm versus ≤1 mm), and for the interaction between age younger than 20 years and thickness of 1.01 to 2.00 mm (OR, 6.5). SLN metastases were significantly more likely in children with non-ulcerated melanomas that measured 1.01 to 2.00 mm in thickness than in young adults (24 versus 4 percent).

"Children overall were more likely to have SLN metastases, a difference that was attributed to cases of nonulcerated melanomas measuring 1 to 2 mm in thickness," the authors write.

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