Objective: To evaluate the prognostic factors for patients with stage III m
alignant melanoma and to identify patients at high risk of developing recur
rent disease who may benefit from adjuvant therapy.
Design: Retrospective study.
Setting: Specialist hospital, USA.
Subjects: 130 patients with stage III malignant melanoma (according to the
TNM classification), treated at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute between 1
970 and 1992.
Main outcome measures: Survival and prognostic factors on multivariate anal
Results: Four factors were independent prognostic indicators for patients w
ith stage III malignant melanoma: age >51 years (p = 0.008), >3 involved ly
mph nodes, (p = 0.03), the site of the primary tumour on head or trunk, (p
= 0.007), and the presence of palpable lymph nodes (p = 0.004).
Conclusion: These prognostic factors help us to stratify patients into low
and high-risk groups. High-risk patients may benefit from more aggressive a
djuvant therapy in future trials of treatment of melanoma.