Erratum: Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy Status Is a Key Parameter to Stratify the Prognostic Heterogeneity of Malignant Melanoma in High-Risk Tumors >4.0 mm

Background: The value of sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) as a useful strategy to assess the risk of future metastasis in high-risk melanomas (>4.0 mm) is controversially discussed. Objectives: In a single-center retrospective study, the prognostic relevance of SLNB and other risk factors in the subgroup of melanomas >4.0 mm was investigated and compared to previously published results. Methods: Using Kaplan-Meier estimates and Cox regressions, we assessed the prognostic relevance of SLNB in our subcohort of 87 patients with thick melanomas >4.0 mm (T4). The mean follow-up for this subgroup was 51 months. We compared SLN value as compared to ulceration. Results: SLN and ulceration, analyzed as separate risk factors as well as their combination, predicted a highly reduced life expectancy in terms of recurrence-free survival (RFS) in our cohort of patients. SLN, but not ulceration, also predicted overall survival (OS). Conclusions: Positive SLNB is an essential predictor of RFS and OS in T4 melanoma patients, whereas ulceration lacked significance with respect to OS in our cohort. Our data thus suggest the routine use of SLNB also for T4 melanoma and may therefore allow to optimize risk-stratified therapeutic regimens.