Content » Vol 99, Issue 13

Clinical Report

Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma Tumour Size is Associated with Sentinel Lymph Node Metastasis in a Cohort of 69 Patients

Emilien Chabrillac, Amélie Lusque, Zoé Cavallier, Raphaël Lopez, Thomas Filleron, Jérôme Sarini, Nicolas Meyer, Sébastien Vergez
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-3293


Ten to fifty percent of high-risk cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma may potentially metastasize. However, the concept of sentinel lymph node biopsy remains controversial for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. The aim of this study was to identify prognostic factors associated with sentinel lymph node positivity. A bicentric retrospective analysis was conducted between January 2006 and January 2018. All patients undergoing sentinel lymph node biopsy for high-risk cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma were included, based on the criteria of the prognostic classification of the French Society of Dermatology. Seventy-four patients were included. Five (6.8%) procedures failed. Of the 69 patients assessed, the positive sentinel lymph node biopsy rate was 11.6% (n = 8) with a false negative rate of 5.7% (n = 4). The positivity of sentinel lymph node biopsy was associated with tumour size (p = 0.0194). Sentinel lymph node biopsy is an effective staging procedure for clinically N0 high-risk cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, with an acceptable morbidity. To date, 2 risk factors of sentinel lymph node positivity have been identified with statistical significance: tumour size and poor tumour differentiation.


This study analyses the patient’s and tumour’s characteristics associated with metastasis in the first draining lymph node, called the “sentinel lymph node”. The results show that a large tumour size is a risk factor for lymph node metastasis.

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