Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Survival for melanoma patients with thick primary tumours is notoriously short. A small number of patients with tumours 〉 5.5 mm thick do, however, have protracted survival intervals. Attempts were made to account for this phenomenon by means of histological, cytometric and HLA serotyping analyses. Patients with thick lesions surviving more than 10 years were matched–by sex, age, anatomical site of primary lesion, stage of disease and, whenever possible, by initial surgical therapy–to patients dying of their disease within 5 years. This case-control study on 13 long-term survivors and 13 short-term survivors did not show that any of the following attributes of the primary lesion were useful in predicting survival: Clark's level of invasion, ulceration, mitotic rate, host inflammatory response, tumour regression, tumour necrosis, vascular invasion, satellitosis, radial or vertical growth phase, predominant cell type, histogenetic type, borders, DNA quantification and cytomorphometry. HLA serotyping of long-term survivors showed an excess of antigen DQwl compared with the general population, although this excess was not statistically significant.
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