Evaluating Delays to Surgery for Melanomas Treated With Mohs Micrographic Surgery in the United States
Overall Survival After Mohs Surgery for Early-Stage Merkel Cell Carcinoma
IMPORTANCE/UNASSIGNED:Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare cutaneous malignant neoplasm with increasing incidence and high mortality. Although it is accepted that the optimal treatment for localized tumors is surgical, the data surrounding the optimal surgical approach are mixed, and current National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines state that Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) and wide local excision (WLE) can both be used. The current National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines do not advocate a preference for MMS or WLE and suggest that they can be used interchangeably. OBJECTIVE/UNASSIGNED:To evaluate the association of surgical approach with overall survival after excision of localized T1/T2 MCC. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS/UNASSIGNED:This retrospective cohort study used the National Cancer Database to assess adults with T1/T2 MCC who were diagnosed between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2018, with pathologically confirmed, negative regional lymph nodes and treated with surgery. The National Cancer Database includes all reportable cases from Commission on Cancer-accredited facilities. Data analysis was performed from October 2022 to May 2023. EXPOSURE/UNASSIGNED:Surgical approach. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES/UNASSIGNED:Overall survival. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED:A total of 2313 patients (mean [SD] age, 71 [10.6] years; 1340 [57.9%] male) were included in the study. Excision with MMS had the best unadjusted survival, with mean (SE) survival rates of 87.4% (3.4%) at 3 years, 84.5% (3.9%) at 5 years, and 81.8% (4.6%) at 10 years vs 86.1% (0.9%) at 3 years, 76.9% (1.2%) at 5 years, and 60.9% (2.0%) at 10 years for patients treated with WLE. Patients treated with narrow-margin excision had similar survival as those treated with WLE, with mean (SE) survival rates of 84.8% (1.4%) at 3 years, 78.3% (1.7%) at 5 years, and 60.8% (3.6%) at 10 years. On multivariable survival analysis, excision with MMS was associated with significantly improved survival compared with WLE (hazard ratio, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.36-0.97; P = .04). High-volume MCC centers were significantly more likely to use MMS over WLE compared with other centers (odds ratio, 1.99; 95% CI, 1.63-2.44; P < .001). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE/UNASSIGNED:In this cohort study, the use of MMS (compared with WLE) was associated with significantly improved survival for patients with localized MCC with pathologically confirmed negative lymph nodes treated with surgery. These data suggest that Mohs surgery may provide a more effective treatment for MCC primary tumors than conventional WLE, although the lack of randomization and potential for selection bias in this study highlight the need for future prospective work evaluating this issue.
Diagnosis of perineural invasion during Mohs micrographic surgery guides clinical decision-making in the management of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma
Characterizing cutaneous malignancies in patients with skin of color treated with Mohs micrographic surgery
Immunosuppressed patients are at increased risk of local recurrence, metastasis, and disease specific death from cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma
It is well established that immunosuppressed patients are at increased risk for poor outcomes (PO) from cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC), including local recurrence (LR), nodal metastasis (NM), distant metastasis (DM), and disease-specific death (DSD). Defining PO risk is challenging but may be beneficial in guiding management. We aimed to define PO risk factors and evaluated their importance in immunosuppressed versus immunocompetent patients. We conducted a 4-year single-center retrospective review of patients with cSCC. Patient and tumor characteristics were evaluated in those that experienced PO. Immunosuppressed patients were ~ 11-fold more likely than immunocompetent patients to develop PO (10/85 vs. 15/1332, p < 0.0001). Among those with PO, immunosuppressed patients had diminished relapse free (p = 0.026) and progression free (p < 0.001) survival compared to immunocompetent. Immunosuppression was significantly associated with LR (p < 0.00001). Immunosuppressed patients were also more likely to develop NM, DM and experience DSD (p = 0.027). Mohs Appropriate Use Criteria was associated with NM, DM and DSD (p = 0.029), with area H tumors more likely to result in metastasis and death. In conclusion, immunosuppressed patients are more likely to develop LR, metastasis, and DSD from cSCC compared to immunocompetent patients. Immunosuppressed status was an independent risk factor for PO in this cohort and further considered for its inclusion in prognostication schema is warranted.
Gender Differences in Clinical Practice and Medicare Reimbursement Among Mohs Surgeons
OBJECTIVE:To evaluate Medicare reimbursement and clinical activity between male and female dermatologic surgeons. MATERIALS AND METHODS/METHODS:A retrospective review of the Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment data from 2018 was performed for all dermatologists performing MMS. Provider gender, place of service, number of services, and average payment per service was recorded for all relevant procedure codes. RESULTS:Women represented 31.5% of the 2,581 surgeons who performed MMS in 2018. Women were paid significantly less than men (mean difference, -$73,033). On average, women performed 123 fewer cases than their male counterparts. When surgeons were stratified by productivity, remuneration was the same. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Remuneration from CMS was disparate between male and female dermatologic surgeons, which may be attributed to submission of fewer charges by women. Further efforts are necessary to better evaluate and address causes for this discrepancy, because greater parity of opportunity and pay would greatly benefit this subspecialty of dermatology.
Assessing Rates of Positive Surgical Margins After Standard Excision of Vulvar Melanomas
BACKGROUND:Vulvar melanoma is a rare malignancy with frequent recurrence and poor prognosis. National guidelines recommend wide local excision of these tumors with allowances for narrower margins for anatomic and functional limitations, which are common on specialty sites. There is presently a lack of data of margin positivity after standard excision of vulvar melanomas. OBJECTIVE:We aim to evaluate the rate of positive margins after standard excision of vulvar melanomas. MATERIALS AND METHODS/METHODS:Retrospective cohort study of surgically excised vulvar melanomas from the NCDB diagnosed from 2004 to 2019. RESULTS:We identified a total of 2,226 cases. Across surgical approaches and tumor stages, 17.2% (Standard Error [SE]: 0.8%) of cases had positive surgical margins. Among tumor stages, T4 tumors were most commonly excised with positive margins (22.9%, SE: 1.5%). On multivariable survival analysis, excision with positive margins was associated with significantly poorer survival (Hazard Ratio 1.299, p = .015). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:We find that positive margin rates after standard excision of vulvar malignancies are higher than for other specialty site melanomas. Our data suggest that use of surgical approaches with complete margin assessment may improve local control and functional outcomes for patients with vulvar melanoma as they have for patients with other specialty site melanomas.
Staged melanoma excision requires larger margins for tumor clearance and results in low rates of recurrence
There is controversy regarding the optimal surgical modality and ideal recommended margins for treating melanoma in situ (MIS) and invasive melanoma (IM). Although wide local excision is recommended, staged excision offers excellent margin control and low recurrence rates. In this manuscript, we reviewed a 10-year experience of staged excisions for the treatment of MIS and IM. A retrospective review was performed of 130 MIS and 32 IM cases treated with staged excision from April 2012 to April 2022. Staged excision was performed on the head and neck in 102 (79%) MIS and 23 (72%) IM cases. Approximately 10% of cases required surgical margins above the current recommendations (11 (9%) MIS and 6 (19%) IM). Twenty-three (19%) MIS and 7 (22%) IM cases required more than one excision to obtain clearance. Recurrence rates among MIS and IM were 0.0% and 0.6%, respectively. Upstaging occurred in 5 (4%) MIS and 7 (22%) IM cases. Complex repairs were performed on 82 (63%) MIS and 17 (53%) IM cases. Our findings revealed that staged excision provides effective margin control and low recurrence rates. Approximately 10% of patients required margins greater than the current recommendations, leading to larger defects and more complex repairs.
Applying Occam's Razor and Descending the Reconstructive Ladder: The Modified Cheek Advancement Flap for Reconstruction of Nasal Defects
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:Nasal reconstruction has important functional and cosmetic considerations, as proper repair of nasal defects is necessary to maintain function of the nasal airway and to recreate the normal appearance of this central facial structure. Cheek advancement flaps provide matched, mobile and highly vascularized tissue for the reconstruction of nasal defects, allowing for the concealment of incisions within natural creases in a one-stage approach. However, cheek advancement flaps are often underutilized for nasal reconstruction because of their difficulty restoring nasal contour. METHODS:We describe reconstruction of 19 nasal dorsal and sidewall defects 0.8 to 3.0 centimeters (cm) in size. We incorporated a periosteal anchoring suture to maintain/restore nasal contour and additionally removed a half standing cone inferior to the defect to prevent encroachment of the nasal ala or alar crease. All patients were evaluated at least 3 months post-operatively. RESULTS:In all patients, we were able to restore concavity of the nasofacial sulcus, preserve the biconvex nasal tips, prevent alar flaring and retraction and conserve the alar groove. All patients had excellent functional and cosmetic outcomes. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:We believe this modified cheek advancement flap provides functionally and aesthetically superior results and can be considered as a first-line approach for repair of nasal dorsal and sidewall defects in sub selected patients.
Association of Patient Risk Factors, Tumor Characteristics, and Treatment Modality With Poor Outcomes in Primary Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
IMPORTANCE/UNASSIGNED:Primary cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma is usually curable; however, a subset of patients develops poor outcomes, including local recurrence, nodal metastasis, distant metastasis, and disease-specific death. OBJECTIVES/UNASSIGNED:To evaluate all evidence-based reports of patient risk factors and tumor characteristics associated with poor outcomes in primary cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and to identify treatment modalities that minimize poor outcomes. DATA SOURCES/UNASSIGNED:PubMed, Embase, and SCOPUS databases were searched for studies of the topic in humans, published in the English language, from database inception through February 8, 2022. STUDY SELECTION/UNASSIGNED:Two authors independently screened the identified articles and included those that were original research with a sample size of 10 patients or more and that assessed risk factors and/or treatment modalities associated with poor outcomes among patients with primary cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. DATA EXTRACTION AND SYNTHESIS/UNASSIGNED:Data extraction was performed by a single author, per international guidelines. The search terms, study objectives, and protocol methods were defined before study initiation. A total of 310 studies were included for full-text assessment. Owing to heterogeneity of the included studies, a random-effects model was used. Data analyses were performed from May 25 to September 15, 2022. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES/UNASSIGNED:For studies of risk factors, risk ratios and incidence proportions; and for treatment studies, incidence proportions. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED:In all, 129 studies and a total of 137 449 patients with primary cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and 126 553 tumors were included in the meta-analysis. Several patient risk factors and tumor characteristics were associated with local recurrence, nodal metastasis, distant metastasis, disease-specific death, and all-cause death were identified. Among all factors reported by more than 1 study, the highest risks for local recurrence and disease-specific death were associated with tumor invasion beyond subcutaneous fat (risk ratio, 9.1 [95% CI, 2.8-29.2] and 10.4 [95% CI, 3.0- 36.3], respectively), and the highest risk of any metastasis was associated with perineural invasion (risk ratio, 5.0; 95% CI, 2.3-11.1). Patients who received Mohs micrographic surgery had the lowest incidence of nearly all poor outcomes; however, in some results, the 95% CIs overlapped with those of other treatment modalities. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE/UNASSIGNED:This meta-analysis identified the prognostic value of several risk factors and the effectiveness of the available treatment modalities. These findings carry important implications for the prognostication, workup, treatment, and follow-up of patients with primary cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. TRIAL REGISTRATION/UNASSIGNED:PROSPERO Identifier: CRD42022311250.