Pelvic computed tomography scans for surveillance in patients with primary melanoma in the head and neck

Gladys C. Alvarado, Nicholas E. Papadopoulos, Wen Jen Hwu, Agop Y. Bedikian, Jade Homsi, Jeffrey N. Myers, Yulia Bronstein, Roland L. Bassett, Patrick Hwu, Kevin B. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although pelvic computed tomography (CT) scans are frequently performed as a part of routine surveillance, the evidence for or against the routine use of these scans in patients with primary melanoma in the head and neck is weak. We conducted a retrospective study to evaluate the value of pelvic CT scans as routine surveillance in patients with primary melanoma in the head and neck. We identified 146 patients with either primary or mucosal primary melanoma who had adequate follow-up evaluation for at least 5 years at our institution. Among them, 33 patients (23%) had stage III melanoma, and four (3%) had stage IV melanoma at the time of diagnosis. At a median follow-up duration of 49 months, 110 patients (75%) had developed recurrences, and the median time to the first recurrence was 13 months. A total of 82 (56%) patients had eventually developed distant metastases, but only 10 (7%) had developed metastases in the pelvis, and none had developed pelvic metastases as the first and the only site of recurrence. If the true rate of finding the pelvic metastasis as the first and the only recurrence was at least 3%, the probability of seeing 0 events of the 146 patients was 1.17%. This study, which is the largest series to evaluate the value of pelvic CT scans in this patient population to date, suggests that the routine use of a pelvic CT scan as a surveillance method does nothave any impact on the management in patients with primary melanoma in the head and neck.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-130
Number of pages4
JournalMelanoma research
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011

Keywords

  • Computed tomography imaging
  • head and neck
  • melanoma
  • staging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Dermatology
  • Cancer Research

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    Alvarado, G. C., Papadopoulos, N. E., Hwu, W. J., Bedikian, A. Y., Homsi, J., Myers, J. N., Bronstein, Y., Bassett, R. L., Hwu, P., & Kim, K. B. (2011). Pelvic computed tomography scans for surveillance in patients with primary melanoma in the head and neck. Melanoma research, 21(2), 127-130. https://doi.org/10.1097/CMR.0b013e3283426821