The MELFO Study: A Multicenter, Prospective, Randomized Clinical Trial on the Effects of a Reduced Stage-Adjusted Follow-Up Schedule on Cutaneous Melanoma IB-IIC Patients-Results After 3 Years

Eric A. Deckers, Josette E. H. M. Hoekstra-Weebers, Samantha Damude, Anne Brecht Francken, Sylvia ter Meulen, Esther Bastiaannet, Harald J. Hoekstra*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
55 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background This study compares well-being, recurrences, and deaths of early-stage cutaneous melanoma patients in follow-up, as recommended in the Dutch guideline, with that of patients in a stage-adjusted reduced follow-up schedule, 3 years after diagnosis, as well as costs. Methods Overall, 180 eligible pathological American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) stage IB-IIC, sentinel node staged, melanoma patients (response rate = 87%, 48% male, median age 57 years), randomized into a conventional (CSG, n = 93) or experimental (ESG, n = 87) follow-up schedule group, completed patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) at diagnosis (T1): State-Trait Anxiety Inventory-State version (STAI-S), Cancer Worry Scale (CWS), Impact of Event Scale (IES), and RAND-36 (Mental and Physical Component scales [PCS/MCS]). Three years later (T3), 110 patients (CSG, n = 56; ESG, n = 54) completed PROMs, while 42 declined (23%). Results Repeated measures analyses of variance (ANOVAs) showed a significant group effect on the IES (p = 0.001) in favor of the ESG, and on the RAND-36 PCS (p = 0.02) favoring the CSG. Mean IES and CWS scores decreased significantly over time, while those on the RAND-36 MCS and PCS increased. Effect sizes were small. Twenty-five patients developed a recurrence or second primary melanoma, of whom 13 patients died within 3 years. Cox proportional hazards models showed no differences between groups in recurrence-free survival (hazard ratio [HR] 0.71 [0.32-1.58]; p = 0.400) and disease-free survival (HR 1.24 [0.42-3.71]; p = 0.690). Costs per patient after 3 years (computed for 77.3% of patients) were 39% lower in the ESG. Conclusion These results seemingly support the notion that a stage-adjusted reduced follow-up schedule forms an appropriate, safe, and cost-effective alternative for pathological AJCC stage IB-IIC melanoma patients to the follow-up regimen as advised in the current melanoma guideline.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1407-1417
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Volume27
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May-2020
Event71st Annual Cancer Symposium of the Society-of-Surgical-Oncology - Chicago, Israel
Duration: 21-Mar-201824-Mar-2018

Keywords

  • RECURRENCE

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