This article was originally published here
J Surg Oncol. 2021 Jun 9. doi: 10.1002/jso.26565. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: This study investigated the impact of treating facility type on guideline-concordant sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) management in T1a* (defined as a Breslow depth <0.76 mm without ulceration or mitoses) and T2/T3 melanoma.
METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study utilizing the National Cancer Database from 2012 to 2016.
RESULTS: Our cohort included 109,432 patients. For T1a* melanomas, 85% of patients received guideline-concordant SLNB management at community and academic facilities versus 75% of patients at integrated network facilities (p < .001). Over 83% of patients with T2/T3 melanoma treated at an academic facility received guideline-concordant SLNB management versus 77% treated at a community facility (p < .001). Adjusting for demographic and clinical factors, integrated (adjusted odds ratio, aOR = 0.54), and comprehensive community (aOR = 0.74) facilities were less likely to provide guideline-concordant SLNB management in patients with T1a* melanoma compared to academic facilities. Community facilities (aOR = 0.72) were less likely to provide guideline-concordant SLNB management in patients with T2/T3 melanoma compared to academic facilities.
CONCLUSION: Academic facilities provide the highest rate of guideline-concordant sentinel lymph node management. Comparatively, community programs may underutilize SLNB in T2/T3 disease, while integrated and comprehensive community facilities may over-utilize SLNB in T1a* disease.