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Prognostic Implications of Satellitosis or In-Transit Metastasis in Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma

By: Jenna Carter, PhD
Posted: Tuesday, May 17, 2022

An article published in JAMA Dermatology reported findings following an investigation of the prognostic implications of satellitosis or in-transit metastasis in patients with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. Timothy D. Smile, MD, of Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland, and colleagues examined tumor recurrence and disease-specific survival among a large cohort of patients with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. Their findings revealed that patients with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and satellitosis had an increased risk of recurrence and worse survival compared with patients who had T3 and T4 disease.

“Satellitosis or in-transit metastasis…is a rare but clinically significant risk factor for recurrence of [cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma] in patients with cutaneous malignant neoplasms…. Given that [satellitosis or in-transit metastasis] may be a powerful prognostic factor, it should be incorporated into clinical staging systems,” stated Dr. Smile and colleagues.

A total of 518 patients with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma were a part of this multicenter study. Institution databases were used to collect data from patients treated between 2010 and 2020; a pairwise comparison and Cox proportional hazard modeling were used to determine disease recurrence and disease-specific survival rates.

Results revealed that pairwise comparisons demonstrated a lower cumulative incidence of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma recurrence rates in the T3N0 cohorts (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.21; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.14–0.30; P < .001) and T4N0 (HR = 0.36; 95% CI = 0.19–0.68; P = .001) compared with the satellitosis or in-transit metastasis cohort. There were no significant differences between patients who had node-positive disease and those with satellitosis or in-transit metastasis (HR = 0.74; 95% CI = 0.48–1.14; P = .16). Disease-specific survival rates were significantly higher in the T3N0 cohort (HR = 0.23; 95% CI = 0.15–0.35; P < .0001) and T4N0 cohort (HR = 0.37; 95% CI = 0.19–0.76; P = .01).

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors visit jamanetwork.com.


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