Impact of the time interval between primary melanoma excision and sentinel node biopsy: A systematic review and meta-analysis.
The sentinel-node biopsy (SLNB) is a standard staging procedure in the management of cutaneous melanoma. However, there is no consensus on the safe time interval between the primary melanoma biopsy and the SLNB.To evaluate the association between time from biopsy to SLNB and patients’ outcomes for melanoma.We performed this systematic review and meta-analysis based on the recommendations of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines.Six retrospective studies were included. 9,705 patients were identified, of which 4,383 underwent SNLB at a time interval defined as early, and 4,574 at a late time interval. A combined HR of 1.25 (95% CI=0.92-1.68) was determined, there was high heterogeneity (I2 83%, p=0.002) of the SLNB time interval on melanoma-specific survival. The combined HR for disease-free survival was 1.05 (95% CI=0.95-1.15), with low heterogeneity (I2 9%, p=0.36). Regarding overall survival, a combined HR of 1.25 (95% CI=0.92-1.70) was found, with low heterogeneity (I2 37%, p=0.2).There is heterogeneity between some studies.There are no significant differences in patient outcome between a short interval versus a long interval between the primary biopsy and the performance of SNLB.