• Comparison of the prognostic value of microscopically measured invasive width versus macroscopic width in cutaneous melanoma shows the superiority of microscopic invasive width measurement

      Bamford, Mark; Udensi, Louisa; O'Riordan, Marie; Saldanha, Gerald (2022-03)
      Background: Invasive width, the distance between the most peripheral invasive melanoma cells on the section where Breslow thickness (BT) was measured, was recently identified as a prognostic feature. It is unclear whether a routine measurement is justified, given that macroscopic width is already included in many melanoma histopathology reports and may itself be a prognostic feature. This study sought to investigate this. Methods: A retrospective cohort of 718 melanoma patients in which macroscopic width had been stated in the original histopathology report was used. Survival analysis was performed. Results: Macroscopic and invasive widths were positively correlated (p < 0.001). Invasive width was typically smaller than the paired macroscopic width (median difference 3.7 mm, p < 0.001), a difference seen across all T groups. Both macroscopic and invasive widths were significantly associated with melanoma survival in Kaplan-Meier analysis, including overall survival, but invasive width survival curves were more widely separated. Both were significantly associated with outcome after correction for BT in Cox proportional hazards regression, but the models containing invasive width had a substantially better fit. Conclusions: This study shows that both macroscopic and invasive widths have prognostic values, but confirms that the latter is superior. It supports further investigation of this feature's prognostic value.