Cervical lymph node dissection (CLND) is the surgical therapy used for the local control of regionally metastasized cutaneous head and neck melanoma. This study evaluated the outcome of patients undergoing CLND at our institution in order to determine the prognostic factors for recurrence-free survival and overall survival after this procedure. The hospital records of 66 patients with histologically proven lymph node metastases who underwent curative or palliative CLND between 1982 and 2004 were analysed. The characteristics of the patients, the primary tumour and the surgical procedure were recorded. During follow-up, the incidence of local or distant recurrences was recorded and the survival was determined. Of the 66 patients, a (modified) radical neck dissection was performed in 20 and a selective procedure in 46. The 5-year actuarial overall survival was 26% and the recurrence-free survival was 22%. Neither the primary tumour characteristics nor the extent of surgery was of prognostic value; the number of positive nodes affected both the overall survival (P=0.046) and overall recurrence-free survival (P<0.001). Selective CLND is the recommended procedure for patients with cervical metastases of cutaneous melanoma. The number of positive lymph nodes significantly affects the outcome of the patients.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Head and neck neoplasms, Melanoma, Neck dissection, Survival analysis
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1097/00008390-200506000-00006, hdl.handle.net/1765/63503
Journal Melanoma Research: a journal for basic, translational and clinical research in melanoma
Grünhagen, D.J, Eggermont, A.M.M, van Geel, A.N, Graveland, W.J, & DeWilt, J.H.W. (2005). Prognostic factors after cervical lymph node dissection for cutaneous melanoma metastases. Melanoma Research: a journal for basic, translational and clinical research in melanoma, 15(3), 179–184. doi:10.1097/00008390-200506000-00006