Background: The ratio of benign moles excised for each malignant melanoma diagnosed (number-needed-to-excise (NNE)) is a metric used to express the efficiency of diagnostic accuracy of melanoma. The literature suggests a progressive effort to reduce the NNE, thus raising concerns about missing early melanoma because the NNE does not capture the most significant outcome for melanoma prognosis, which is linked to the Breslow thickness. A lower NNE could reduce health costs related to melanoma diagnosis only if doing so does not increase the proportion of thicker melanomas. Objectives: The diagnostic performance by two tertiary referral centres using the NNE and proportion of thick (Breslow thickness > 1 mm) versus thin (Breslow thickness ≤ 1 mm) excised melanoma (thick/thin ratio: TTR) was compared to determine if a lower NNE is associated with a greater proportion of thicker melanoma. Combining TTR with NNE allows a better estimate of the effectiveness in melanoma diagnosis, assessing both the overall cost for a given pool of excised melanomas and costs due to unnecessary nevi excision at a particular dermatology centre. Methods: Demographic data and Breslow thickness of excised melanoma were extracted from patient histologic records at two referral centres for melanoma (Parma Dermatology Unit and Ravenna and Meldola Skin Cancer Unit, Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori. IRCCS (IRST)) on all skin tumours excised between 2002 and 2011 and diagnosed as melanoma or melanocytic nevus. NNE and TTR were calculated and compared among the considered variables. Logistic regression was used to assess the contribution of each variable in predicting a higher TTR. Results: Data from 16,738 excised lesions were analysed. The IRST Unit reported a mean NNE of 4.6, whereas the Parma Unit excised 10.6 nevi for each melanoma. No statistically significant differences existed in the mean (IRST Unit, 0.56 ± 0.89 mm; Parma Unit, 1.07 ± 2.2 mm) and median (range) Breslow thickness (IRST Unit, 0.4 (9) mm; Parma Unit 0.4 (30) mm). The TTR between centres was significantly different (Parma Unit, 24%; IRST Unit, 12%; p < 0.001). Based on logistic regression, the diagnosing centre was the most powerful factor in determining a thickness of >1 mm among diagnosed melanomas (OR = 1.8; 95% CI, 1.2–2.7; p < 0.01), with all other factors being equal. The NNE decreased at both centres from younger-to-older patients, whereas the TTR increased simultaneously; however, the increase in TTR was non-significantly related to NNE reduction after adjusting for confounders (age, gender, and localization). Conclusions: A better diagnostic performance is capable of reducing the NNE and TTR, i.e., unnecessary excisions of melanocytic nevi can be reduced without increasing the risk of overlooking melanomas. The TTR, in addition to the NNE, allows stakeholders to better estimate the effectiveness in melanoma diagnosis because both overall costs for a given pool of excised melanomas and costs due for unnecessary nevi excision at a particular dermatology centre can be compared.

Proportion of thick versus thin melanomas as a benchmarking tool / Pagliarello, C.; Magi, S.; Mazzoni, L.; Stanganelli, I.. - In: JOURNAL OF CLINICAL MEDICINE. - ISSN 2077-0383. - 10:23(2021), p. 5545.5545. [10.3390/jcm10235545]

Proportion of thick versus thin melanomas as a benchmarking tool

Stanganelli I.
2021

Abstract

Background: The ratio of benign moles excised for each malignant melanoma diagnosed (number-needed-to-excise (NNE)) is a metric used to express the efficiency of diagnostic accuracy of melanoma. The literature suggests a progressive effort to reduce the NNE, thus raising concerns about missing early melanoma because the NNE does not capture the most significant outcome for melanoma prognosis, which is linked to the Breslow thickness. A lower NNE could reduce health costs related to melanoma diagnosis only if doing so does not increase the proportion of thicker melanomas. Objectives: The diagnostic performance by two tertiary referral centres using the NNE and proportion of thick (Breslow thickness > 1 mm) versus thin (Breslow thickness ≤ 1 mm) excised melanoma (thick/thin ratio: TTR) was compared to determine if a lower NNE is associated with a greater proportion of thicker melanoma. Combining TTR with NNE allows a better estimate of the effectiveness in melanoma diagnosis, assessing both the overall cost for a given pool of excised melanomas and costs due to unnecessary nevi excision at a particular dermatology centre. Methods: Demographic data and Breslow thickness of excised melanoma were extracted from patient histologic records at two referral centres for melanoma (Parma Dermatology Unit and Ravenna and Meldola Skin Cancer Unit, Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori. IRCCS (IRST)) on all skin tumours excised between 2002 and 2011 and diagnosed as melanoma or melanocytic nevus. NNE and TTR were calculated and compared among the considered variables. Logistic regression was used to assess the contribution of each variable in predicting a higher TTR. Results: Data from 16,738 excised lesions were analysed. The IRST Unit reported a mean NNE of 4.6, whereas the Parma Unit excised 10.6 nevi for each melanoma. No statistically significant differences existed in the mean (IRST Unit, 0.56 ± 0.89 mm; Parma Unit, 1.07 ± 2.2 mm) and median (range) Breslow thickness (IRST Unit, 0.4 (9) mm; Parma Unit 0.4 (30) mm). The TTR between centres was significantly different (Parma Unit, 24%; IRST Unit, 12%; p < 0.001). Based on logistic regression, the diagnosing centre was the most powerful factor in determining a thickness of >1 mm among diagnosed melanomas (OR = 1.8; 95% CI, 1.2–2.7; p < 0.01), with all other factors being equal. The NNE decreased at both centres from younger-to-older patients, whereas the TTR increased simultaneously; however, the increase in TTR was non-significantly related to NNE reduction after adjusting for confounders (age, gender, and localization). Conclusions: A better diagnostic performance is capable of reducing the NNE and TTR, i.e., unnecessary excisions of melanocytic nevi can be reduced without increasing the risk of overlooking melanomas. The TTR, in addition to the NNE, allows stakeholders to better estimate the effectiveness in melanoma diagnosis because both overall costs for a given pool of excised melanomas and costs due for unnecessary nevi excision at a particular dermatology centre can be compared.
Proportion of thick versus thin melanomas as a benchmarking tool / Pagliarello, C.; Magi, S.; Mazzoni, L.; Stanganelli, I.. - In: JOURNAL OF CLINICAL MEDICINE. - ISSN 2077-0383. - 10:23(2021), p. 5545.5545. [10.3390/jcm10235545]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11381/2914622
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