The Association of Guideline-Concordant Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy for Melanoma at Minority-Serving Hospitals

Alicia C. Greene, William G. Wong, Rolfy A. Perez Holguin, Akshilkumar Patel, Colette R. Pameijer, Chan Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Minority-serving hospitals (MSHs) have been associated with lower guideline adherence and worse outcomes for various cancers. However, the relationship among MSH status, concordance with sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) guidelines, and overall survival (OS) for patients with cutaneous melanoma is not well studied. Methods: The National Cancer Database was queried for patients diagnosed with T1a*, T2, and T3 melanoma between 2012 and 2017. MSHs were defined as the top decile of institutions ranked by the proportion of minorities treated for melanoma. Based on National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines, guideline-concordant care (GCC) was defined as not undergoing SLNB if thickness was < 0.76 mm without ulceration, mitosis ≥ 1/mm2, or lymphovascular invasion (T1a*), and performing SLNB for patients with intermediate thickness melanomas between 1.0 and 4.0 mm (T2/T3). Multivariable logistic regressions examined associations with GCC. The Kaplan–Meier method and log-rank tests were used to evaluate OS between MSH and non-MSH facilities. Results: Overall, 5.9% (N = 2182/36,934) of the overall cohort and 37.8% of minorities (n = 199/527) were managed at MSHs. GCC rates were 89.5% (n = 33,065/36,934) in the overall cohort and 85.4% (n = 450/527) in the minority subgroup. Patients in the overall cohort (odds ratio [OR] 0.85; p = 0.02) and the minority subgroup (OR 0.55; p = 0.02) were less likely to obtain GCC if they received their care at MSHs compared with non-MSHs. Minority patients receiving care at MSHs had a decreased survival compared with those treated at non-MSHs (p = 0.002). Conclusions: Adherence to SLNB guidelines for melanoma was lower at MSHs. Continued focus is needed on equity in melanoma care for minority patients in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3634-3645
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Oncology

Cite this