Aim: To evaluate causes and consequences of not adhering to the clinical practice guideline for cutaneous malignant melanoma. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of the clinical records of 454 subjects whose pathological reports were obtained from a population-based cancer registry to assess determinants and effects of non-compliance of physicians with the excision policy and the related clinical practice guideline for patients with primary localized cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM). A comparative analysis was performed of patients who did and did not undergo re-excision (compliance versus non-compliance with the guideline). Subjects diagnosed in 1988, 1993 and 1997, just 1 year after publication of the (adapted) guideline, were followed until death due to any cause or until July 1st 2003. Results: Old age was the most important determinant of non-compliance. After adjusting for age at diagnosis, gender, subsite and Breslow thickness there was no significant difference in overall survival between the compliance group and the non-compliance group. Conclusions: Non-compliance to the guideline is more common in older patients and in patients with melanoma in the head and neck region. After adjusting for confounders, a significant effect of complying with the guidelines on overall survival could not be observed.

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European Journal of Surgical Oncology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Haniff, J, de Vries, E.G.E, Claassen, A.T.P.M, Looman, C.W.N, van Berlo, Ch, & Coebergh, J.W.W. (2006). Non-compliance with the re-excision guidelines for cutaneous melanoma in The Netherlands does not influence survival. European Journal of Surgical Oncology, 32(1), 85–89. doi:10.1016/j.ejso.2005.09.009