Treatment of Head and Neck Melanoma In Situ With Staged Contoured Marginal Excisions
Staged marginal evaluation of melanoma in situ (MIS) is performed to avoid reconstruction on positive margins. Contoured marginal excision (CME) is an excision of a 2-mm wide strip of normal-appearing skin taken approximately 5 mm from the visible tumor periphery. If positive, a new CME is excised; the tumor is resected once negative margins are confirmed. The purpose of this study is to report our experience using this technique for the treatment of head/neck MIS. Clinicopathological data were abstracted for all patients who underwent staged CME followed by central tumor resection for head/neck MIS; patients with invasive melanoma were excluded. Statistical analyses included χ2 test and t test. Overall, 127 patients with MIS were identified. Fifty-six percent were men; the average age was 68 years. The median number of CME procedures per patient was 1 (range, 1–4). Twenty-three percent of patients required more than 1 CME procedure to achieve negative margins. Local recurrence occurred in 3 of 127 patients after a median follow-up of 5 months. Patients requiring multiple CME procedures were more likely to experience local recurrence (P < 0.001). In conclusion, this technique is an effective method to avoid reconstruction on positive MIS margins with high local disease control rates.