Cutaneous Thick Melanoma: Prognosis and Treatment

Shlomo Schneebaum, Henry A. Briele, Michael J. Walker, John Greager, Donald K. Wood, Salve G. Ronan, Minu K. Patel, Tapas K. Das Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Among proponents of elective lymph node dissection (ELND) for clinical stage I melanoma, controversy exists as to whether there is an upper limit of tumor thickness beyond which ELND should not be considered. We reviewed 169 patients with clinical stage I and II melanoma that was greater than or equal to 3.0 mm thick and who were treated at the University of Illinois Hospital, Chicago. Of 139 patients with clinical stage I disease, 117 underwent ELND. Five- and ten-year survival rates were 55.7% and 48.9%, respectively. Multifactorial analysis demonstrated that anatomical location, level, pathologic stage, and ulceration were the best predictors of survival. Thickness did not emerge as a significant variable. Our findings do not support basing treatment decisions, eg, ELND in this group of patients, solely on the thickness of the primary tumor. We continue to recommend ELND in patients with either intermediate or thick melanomas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)707-711
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1987
Externally publishedYes


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