Sentinel lymph node biopsy versus observation in high risk cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck: a propensity score matching analysis

AbstractSentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) has gained considerable attention in the management of head and neck cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (HNcSCC). The aim of this study was to compare the oncologic outcomes between observation and SLNB in cN0 high-risk HNcSCC patients. We retrospectively enrolled patients from the SEER database and evaluated the impact of observation versus SLNB on disease-specific survival (DSS) and overall survival (OS) using a Propensity Score Matching (PSM) analysis. A total of 9804 patients were included, with 1169 cases treated by SLNB. Successful retrieval of the sentinel lymph node was achieved in 1130 procedures. After PSM and subsequent multivariate analysis, SLNB was found to be an independent predictor for improved DSS, with a hazard ratio of 0.70 (95% confidence interval: 0.56 –0.86). In patients presenting with two or three high-risk factors, SLNB was associated with better DSS (p = 0.021 andp = 0.044), but similar OS (p = 0.506 andp = 0.801) when compared to observation. However, in patients exhibiting four high-risk factors, SLNB demonstrated significantly improved DSS (p = 0.040) and OS (p = 0.028) compared to observation. Our findings suggest that SLNB is a highly feasible technique in HNcSCC and provides significant survival benefits. It is strongly recommended in patients with two or more high-risk factors, as it can help guide treatment decisions and improve patient outcomes.
Source: Archives of Dermatological Research - Category: Dermatology Source Type: research