Outcomes in pediatric atypical spitz tumors treated without sentinel lymph node biopsy

Felecia Cerrato, Joseph S Wallins, Michelle L Webb, Erika R McCarty, Birgitta A Schmidt, Brian I Labow
Pediatric Dermatology 2012, 29 (4): 448-53
The diagnosis of atypical Spitz tumor (AST) in a pediatric patient conveys an uncertain potential for malignancy. Although pediatric melanoma is rare, AST may be treated aggressively with sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) and subsequent completion lymphadenectomy. These procedures have unclear therapeutic benefit and potential morbidity. We aimed to collect outcomes on children with AST treated with excision alone to assist in the management of these lesions. We queried our institution's pathology database for AST specimens submitted between 1994 and 2009. A dermatopathologist reviewed pathology slides to confirm AST diagnosis. Clinical information was obtained from medical records, and outcomes surveys were administered to children with AST. Twenty-nine patients met AST diagnostic criteria and were included in this study. Mean age at first excision was 9.0 ± 4.2 (range 2.3-17.5), and 19 patients underwent more than one excision procedure to achieve clear margins. No patient had SLNB. Fourteen patients (48%) with mean follow-up time of 8.4 years (range 3.5-15.8) completed clinical outcomes surveys. Outcomes with mean follow-up time of 2.8 years (range 0.02-8.1 years) were obtained for 10 additional patients from medical records. There were no reports of recurrence, additional lesions, or metastases in these 24 patients. We report one of the largest series of children with AST treated using excision alone and who remain disease free after a significant follow-up period. Our data suggest that SLNB is not warranted in the routine management of pediatric AST. We recommend complete excision with clear margins and careful clinical follow-up.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.