PURPOSE National guidelines recommend sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) be offered to patients with . 10% likelihood of sentinel lymph node (SLN) positivity. On the other hand, guidelines do not recommend SLNB for patients with T1a tumors without high-risk features who have, 5% likelihood of a positive SLN. However, the decision to perform SLNB is less certain for patients with higher-risk T1 melanomas in which a positive node is expected 5%-10% of the time. We hypothesized that integrating clinicopathologic features with the 31-gene expression profile (31-GEP) score using advanced artificial intelligence techniques would provide more precise SLN risk prediction. METHODS An integrated 31-GEP (i31-GEP) neural network algorithm incorporating clinicopathologic features with the continuous 31-GEP score was developed using a previously reported patient cohort (n = 1,398) and validated using an independent cohort (n = 1,674). RESULTS Compared with other covariates in the i31-GEP, the continuous 31-GEP score had the largest likelihood ratio (G2 = 91.3, P, .001) for predicting SLN positivity. The i31-GEP demonstrated high concordance between predicted and observed SLN positivity rates (linear regression slope = 0.999). The i31-GEP increased the percentage of patients with T1-T4 tumors predicted to have, 5% SLN-positive likelihood from 8.5% to 27.7% with a negative predictive value of 98%. Importantly, for patients with T1 tumors originally classified with a likelihood of SLN positivity of 5%-10%, the i31-GEP reclassified 63% of cases as having, 5% or . 10% likelihood of positive SLN, for a more precise, personalized, and clinically actionable SLN-positive likelihood estimate. CONCLUSION These data suggest the i31-GEP could reduce the number of SLNBs performed by identifying patients with likelihood under the 5% threshold for performance of SLNB and improve the yield of positive SLNBs by identifying patients more likely to have a positive SLNB.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research