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[MOL] Melaoma info.....

Narrow Margins in Melanoma Resections Called Safe

STOCKHOLM-An 11-year median follow-up of melanoma excisions has confirmed that narrow resection margins for a large category of lesions don’t affect outcome.

There were no significant differences in overall survival, recurrence-free survival, or local recurrence between 989 patients randomized to 2-cm resection margins or to 5-cm margins, the Swedish Melanoma Study Group reported in the Oct. 1 Cancer. Tumors were thicker than 0.8 mm and less than 2.0 mm thick (median 1.2 mm), and the follow-ups ranged from seven to 17 years.

Overall survival was 79% and recurrence-free survival was 81% for 476 patients who had narrow resection margins, said Dr. Gabriella Cohn-Cedermark of the Karolinska Institute and colleagues. For the 513 who had wider surgical margins, overall survival was 76% and recurrence-free survival was 83%. The differences weren’t significant.

The 2-cm margin for tumors of this thickness has become standard practice. The study did not look at the safety of using 1-cm margins for lesions up to 1 mm in thickness, also commonly done.

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