Elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate is associated with metastatic disease and worse survival in patients with cutaneous malignant melanoma
Published online on: October 4, 2017
Elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is common in cancer patients and it may affect survival. However, its clinical role and prognostic significance remain unknown in melanoma patients. The objective of the present study was to determine the clinical significance of the ESR levels in cutaneous melanoma patients. A total of 139 cutaneous melanoma patients were enrolled in this study and were retrospectively investigated. The median age of the patients was 52 years (range, 16‑88 years). The median ESR was 22 mm/h (range, 2‑122 mm/h). Significant differences in ESR were found to be associated with sex, histology, blood hemoglobin level, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and metastatic disease. Female patients (P=0.006) and those with nodular histology (P=0.005), low hemoglobin concentration (P<0.001), higher LDH levels (P=0.003) and metastatic disease (P<0.001) were more likely to have elevated ESR levels. However, ESR was not found to be significantly associated with age, site of lesion, or pathological indicators, including Clark's level of invasion, Breslow's depth, mitotic rate, ulceration, vertical growth phase, tumor‑infiltrating lymphocytes, regression, neurotropism, lymphovascular invasion and BRAF (V600E) mutation (P>0.05). ESR was also not associated with lymph node involvement (P=0.188) or responsiveness to chemotherapy (P=0.390). However, ESR was found to be significantly associated with outcome; patients with increased ESR had worse survival compared with those with normal values (hazard ratio=2.033; 95% confidence interval: 1.156‑3.577; P=0.012). In conclusion, elevated ESR was found to be associated with metastatic disease and was also found to be a prognostic factor adversely affecting survival in patients with cutaneous melanoma.