Prognosticators of melanoma, the melanoma report, and the sentinel lymph node
Since the 1960s, the clinical characteristics of melanoma, its histopathology and its biological basis have been the subject of intense study at pigmented lesion clinics in North America, Europe, and Australia. More recently, the immense database of the Melanoma Committee of the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) has been exploited through complex mathematical models to measure the impact of various histologic features of primary melanomas and of sentinel lymph node deposits and to correlate these parameters with patient survival. The wealth of modern information available to pathologists and clinicians has become of vital interest to the prognostication of the individual patient with melanoma. The purpose of this review is to bring to the attention of anatomic pathologists the essential characteristics of the pathology report for primary cutaneous melanoma in the modern era.