Sentinel lymph node biopsy for high-thickness cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma

Lukas Kofler, Katrin Kofler, Claudia Schulz, Helmut Breuninger, Hans-Martin Häfner
Archives of Dermatological Research 2020 May 8
Squamous cell carcinomas are among the most common skin tumors and show a risk of metastasis depending on various factors such as tumor thickness, localization, histological subtype and immune status of the patient. Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) SLNB represents a possibility for assessing the locoregional lymph node status. In this study, the role of the SLNB in lymph node status and survival was analyzed. Retrospectively, 720 patients with high-risk squamous cell carcinoma (tumor thickness > 5 mm) were examined. 150 patients agreed to SLNB, 570 patients did not undergo histologic confirmation of lymph node status and were included directly in follow-up. In 101 patients, a sentinel lymph node was successfully marked and extirpated, followed by regular follow-up examinations.A total of 11.11% of the patients showed lymph node metastasis in the course of their treatment, with no difference in the proportion of patients in the SLNB group (11.9%) and the observation group (11.4%) (p = 0.873). The proportion of distant metastasis also did not differ between the groups (p = 0.898). In 3.96% of the patients in the SLNB group, a metastasis was found in the sentinel lymph node. Tumor-specific death was observed in 7.14% of the patients in the SLNB group and 4.74% in the observation group (p = 0.269). Although SLNB is a principally suitable method for determining lymph node status, the available data do not provide any benefit regarding further metastasis or tumor-specific survival.

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