Correction to: The Devil's in the Details: Discrepancy Between Biopsy Thickness and Final Pathology in Acral Melanoma
Margin Assessment and Re-excision Rates for Patients Who Have Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy and Breast-Conserving Surgery
BACKGROUND:Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) has enabled more patients to be eligible for breast-conservation surgery (BCS). Achieving negative lumpectomy margins, however, is challenging due to changes in tissue composition and potentially scattered residual carcinoma in the tumor bed. Data regarding BCS after NAC have shown variable re-excision rates. MarginProbe (Dilon Technologies, Newport News, VA, USA) has been shown to identify positive resection margins intraoperatively and to reduce the number of re-excisions in primary BCS, but has not been studied in NAC+BCS cases. This study aimed to investigate the clinicopathologic characteristics, margin status, and re-excision rates for NAC+BCS patients with and without the use of MarginProbe. METHODS:The Institutional Breast Cancer Database was queried for patients who received NAC and had BCS from 2010 to 2019. The variables of interest were demographics, tumor characteristics, pathologic complete response (pCR), MarginProbe use, and re-excision rates. RESULTS:The study population consisted of 214 patients who had NAC, 61 (28.5 %) of whom had NAC+BCS. The median age of the patients was 53.5 years. A pCR was achieved for 19 of the patients (31.1 %). Of the remaining 42 patients, 9 (21 %) had close or positive margins that required re-excision. Re-excision was associated with a larger residual tumor size (p = 0.025) and estrogen receptor (ER)-positive disease before NAC (p = 0.041). MarginProbe use was associated with a lower re-excision rate for the patients who had NAC+BCS (6 % vs. 31 %, respectively). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:The patients with a larger residual tumor burden and ER-positive disease had a greater risk for inadequate margins at surgery. MarginProbe use was associated with a lower re-excision rate. Techniques to reduce the need for re-excision will support the use of BCS after NAC.
Optimization of an automated tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte algorithm for improved prognostication in primary melanoma
Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) have potential prognostic value in melanoma and have been considered for inclusion in the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) staging criteria. However, interobserver discordance continues to prevent the adoption of TIL into clinical practice. Computational image analysis offers a solution to this obstacle, representing a methodological approach for reproducibly counting TIL. We sought to evaluate the ability of a TIL-quantifying machine learning algorithm to predict survival in primary melanoma. Digitized hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) slides from prospectively enrolled patients in the NYU melanoma database were scored for % TIL using machine learning and manually graded by pathologists using Clark's model. We evaluated the association of % TIL with recurrence-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) using Cox proportional hazards modeling and concordance indices. Discordance between algorithmic and manual TIL quantification was assessed with McNemar's test and visually by an attending dermatopathologist. In total, 453 primary melanoma patients were scored using machine learning. Automated % TIL scoring significantly differentiated survival using an estimated cutoff of 16.6% TIL (log-rank Pâ€‰<â€‰0.001 for RFS; Pâ€‰=â€‰0.002 for OS). % TIL was associated with significantly longer RFS (adjusted HRâ€‰=â€‰0.92 [0.84-1.00] per 10% increase in % TIL) and OS (adjusted HRâ€‰=â€‰0.90 [0.83-0.99] per 10% increase in % TIL). In comparison, a subset of the cohort (nâ€‰=â€‰240) was graded for TIL by melanoma pathologists. However, TIL did not associate with RFS between groups (Pâ€‰>â€‰0.05) when categorized as brisk, nonbrisk, or absent. A standardized and automated % TIL scoring algorithm can improve the prognostic impact of TIL. Incorporation of quantitative TIL scoring into the AJCC staging criteria should be considered.
Lentigo Maligna Melanoma In-Situ with Neurotropism [Case Report]
Perineural invasion, or neurotropism, is defined by the presence of cancer cells either within the neuronal sheath or found along the nerves. In melanoma, it is most commonly associated with invasive desmoplastic melanoma, a melanoma that is most commonly associated with malignant melanoma in situ, lentigo maligna type. Initially, perineural invasion was included in the reported Breslow thickness, however, recent data suggests that it should not be included. In this report we describe a case of malignant melanoma in-situ, lentigo maligna type, with associated neurotropism in the absence of invasive component. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
The Devil's in the Details: Discrepancy Between Biopsy Thickness and Final Pathology in Acral Melanoma
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:We hypothesized that initial biopsy may understage acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM) and lead to undertreatment or incomplete staging. Understanding this possibility can potentially aid surgical planning and improve primary tumor staging. METHODS:A retrospective review of primary ALMs treated from 2000 to 2017 in the US Melanoma Consortium database was performed. We reviewed pathology characteristics of initial biopsy, final excision specimens, surgical margins, and sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB). RESULTS:We identified 418 primary ALMs (321 plantar, 34 palmar, 63 subungual) with initial biopsy and final pathology results. Median final thickness was 1.8Â mm (range 0.0-19.0). There was a discrepancy between initial biopsy and final pathology thickness in 180 (43%) patients with a median difference of 1.6Â mm (range 0.1-16.4). Final T category was increased in 132 patients (32%), including 47% of initially in situ, 32% of T1, 39% of T2, and 28% of T3 lesions. T category was more likely to be increased in subungual (46%) and palmar (38%) melanomas than plantar (28%, pâ€‰=â€‰0.01). Among patients upstaged to T2 or higher, 71% hadâ€‰â‰¤â€‰1-cm margins taken. Among the 27 patients upstaged to T1b or higher, 8 (30%) did not have a SLNB performed, resulting in incomplete initial staging. CONCLUSIONS:In this large series of ALMs, final T category was frequently increased on final pathology. A high index of suspicion is necessary for lesions initially in situ or T1 and consideration should be given to performing additional punch biopsies, wider margin excisions, and/or SLNB.
Preliminary analysis of distinct clinical and biologic features of bone metastases in melanoma
Melanoma disseminates to the skeletal system where it is then difficult to treat. Yet, there remains limited research investigating metastatic bone disease (MBD) in melanoma. Here, we evaluate whether there are distinct clinicopathologic variables at the time of primary melanoma diagnosis that predispose metastases to engraft bone, and we test the hypothesis that patients with MBD have different responses to treatment. Cutaneous melanoma patients enrolled in a prospective database were studied. Individuals with metastatic melanoma and bone metastases (M-Bone) were compared to those with metastatic disease but no M-Bone. Of the 463 (42.7%) patients, 198 with unresectable metastatic melanoma had M-Bone and 98 developed bone metastasis (bone mets) as first site. Progression-free survival and overall survival were significantly worse in patients with M-Bone compared to those without M-Bone (P < 0.001) independent of treatment modalities, and in patients whose melanoma spread to bone first, compared to those who developed first mets elsewhere (P < 0.001). Interestingly, patients with bone mets presented with primary tumors that had more tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (P < 0.001) and less often a nodular histologic subtype compared to patients without M-Bone (P < 0.001). Our data suggest that melanoma bone metastasis is a distinct clinical and biological entity that cannot be explained by generalized metastatic phenotype in all patients. The observed dichotomy between more favorable primary histopathologic characteristics and a grave overall prognosis requires more studies to elucidate the molecular processes by which melanomas infiltrate bone and to build a mechanistic understanding of how melanoma bone metastases yield such detrimental outcomes.
Melanoma Prognosis - Accuracy of the American Joint Committee on Cancer Staging Manual Eighth Edition
BACKGROUND:The American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) maintains that the eighth edition of its Staging Manual (AJCC8) has improved accuracy compared to the seventh (AJCC7). However, there are concerns that implementation may disrupt analysis of active clinical trials for stage III patients. We used an independent cohort of melanoma patients to test the extent to which AJCC8 has improved prognostic accuracy compared to AJCC7. METHODS:We analyzed a cohort of 1,315 prospectively enrolled patients. We assessed primary tumor and nodal classification of stage I-III patients using AJCC7 and AJCC8 to assign disease stages at diagnosis. We compared recurrence-free (RFS) and overall survival (OS) using Kaplan-Meier curves and log-rank tests. We then compared concordance indices of discriminatory prognostic ability and area under the curve (AUC) of 5-year survival to predict RFS/OS. All statistical tests were two-sided. RESULTS:Stage IIC continued to have worse outcomes than those for stage IIIA patients, with 5-year RFS of 26.5% (95%CI=12.8-55.1%) vs. 56.0% (95%CI=37.0-84.7%) by AJCC8 (Pâ€‰=â€‰0.002). For stage I, removing mitotic index as T classification factor decreased its prognostic value, although not statistically significantly (RFS C-index=0.63 [95%CI=0.56-0.69] to 0.56 [95%CI=0.49-0.63], Pâ€‰=â€‰0.07; OS C-index=0.48 [95%CI=0.38-0.58] to 0.48 [95%CI=0.41-0.56], Pâ€‰=â€‰0.90). For stage II, prognostication remained constant (RFS C-index=0.65 [95%CI=0.57-0.72]; OS C-index=0.61 [95%CI=0.50-0.72]), and. For stage III, AJCC8 yielded statistically significantly enhanced prognostication for RFS (C-index=0.65 [95%CI=0.60-0.70] to 0.70 [95%CI=0.66-0.75], Pâ€‰=â€‰0.01). CONCLUSIONS:Compared with AJCC7, we demonstrate that AJCC8 enables more accurate prognosis for patients with stage III melanoma. Restaging a large cohort of patients can enhance the analysis of active clinical trials.
Metastasectomy for melanoma is associated with improved overall survival in responders to targeted molecular or immunotherapy
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:Metastasectomy for melanoma provides durable disease control in carefully selected patients. Similarly, BRAF-targeted and immune checkpoint inhibition has improved median overall survival (OS) in metastatic patients. We hypothesized that there is an increasing role for metastasectomy in melanoma patients responding to these therapies. METHODS:Retrospective analysis of a prospectively maintained database identified 128 patients with stage IV melanoma who received targeted molecular and/or checkpoint inhibitors at an academic institution from 2006 to 2017. Records were reviewed to characterize clinicopathologic characteristics, response to treatment, and intent of surgery for those who underwent metastasectomy. OS was analyzed by the Kaplan-Meier method. RESULTS:Median OS from stage IV diagnosis was 31.3 months. A total of 81 patients received checkpoint inhibitors, 11 received targeted inhibitors, and 36 received both. A total of 73 patients underwent metastasectomy. Indications for surgery included the intent to render disease-free (54%), palliation (34%), and diagnostic confirmation (11%). Responders to systemic therapy who underwent metastasectomy had improved OS compared to responders who did not (84.3 vs. 42.9 months, Pâ€‰=â€‰.018). CONCLUSIONS:Metastasectomy for melanoma is associated with improved OS in patients that respond to targeted molecular or immunotherapy. Resection should be strongly considered in this cohort as multimodality treatment results in excellent OS.
TERT, BRAF, and NRAS mutational heterogeneity between paired primary and metastatic melanoma tumors
Mutational heterogeneity can contribute to therapeutic resistance in solid cancers. In melanoma, the frequency of inter- and intra-tumoral heterogeneity is controversial. We examined mutational heterogeneity within individual melanoma patients using multi-platform analysis of commonly mutated driver and non-passenger genes. We analyzed paired primary and metastatic tumors from 60 patients, and multiple metastatic tumors from 39 patients whose primary tumors were unavailable (n=271 tumors). We used a combination of multiplex SNaPshot assays, Sanger Sequencing, Mutation-specific PCR, or droplet digital PCR to determine the presence of BRAFV600, NRASQ61, and TERT-124C>T and TERT-146C>T mutations. Mutations were detected in BRAF (39%), NRAS (21%) and/or TERT (78%). Thirteen patients had TERTmutant discordant tumors; seven of these had a single tumor with both TERT-124C>T and TERT-146C>T mutations present at different allele frequencies. Two patients had both BRAF and NRAS mutations; one in different tumors and the other had a single tumor with both mutations. One patient with a BRAFmutant primary lacked mutant BRAF in least one of their metastases. Overall, we identified mutational heterogeneity in 18/99 (18%) patients. These results suggest that some primary melanomas may be comprised of subclones with differing mutational profiles. Such heterogeneity may be relevant to treatment responses and survival outcomes.
Sentinel lymph node positivity in patients undergoing mastectomies for ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)
Current guidelines recommend sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) for patients undergoing mastectomy for a preoperative diagnosis of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). We examined the factors associated with sentinel lymph node positivity for patients undergoing mastectomy for a diagnosis of DCIS on preoperative core biopsy (PCB). The Institutional Breast Cancer Database was queried for patients with PCB demonstrating pure DCIS followed by mastectomy and SLNB from 2010 to 2018. Patients were divided according to final pathology (DCIS or invasive cancer). Clinico-pathologic variables were analyzed using Pearson's chi-squared, Wilcoxon Rank-Sum and logistic regression. Of 3145 patients, 168(5%) had pure DCIS on PCB and underwent mastectomy with SLNB. On final mastectomy pathology, 120(71%) patients had DCIS with 0 positive sentinel lymph nodes (PSLNs) and 48(29%) patients had invasive carcinoma with 5(10%) cases of â‰¥1 PSLNs. Factors positively associated with upstaging to invasive cancer in univariate analysis included age (PÂ =Â .0289), palpability (PÂ <Â .0001), extent of disease on imaging (PÂ =Â .0121), mass on preoperative imaging (PÂ =Â .0003), multifocality (PÂ =Â .0231) and multicentricity (PÂ =Â .0395). In multivariate analysis, palpability (PÂ =Â .0080), extent of disease on imaging (PÂ =Â .0074) and mass on preoperative imaging (PÂ =Â .0245) remained significant (Table 2). In a subset of patients undergoing mastectomy for DCIS with limited disease on preoperative evaluation, SLNB may be omitted as the risk of upstaging is low. However, patients who present with clinical findings of palpability, large extent of disease on imaging and mass on preoperative imaging have a meaningful risk of upstaging to invasive cancer, and SLNB remains important for management.