To better identify patients’ individual risk of SLNB positivity, Castle Biosciences now integrates clinicopathologic factors with your 31-GEP score using an artificial intelligence neural network trained algorithm. This is then used to decide on treatment plans that are appropriate for each stage of melanoma. Tumors are staged as I, II, III, or IV according to the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) Staging System. Stage I tumors have a better outlook (prognosis) than those in stage II, III, or IV.
In melanoma, healthcare professionals use traditional pathology factors to initially stage melanoma. These are tumor thickness (commonly referred to as Breslow’s depth or thickness), ulceration status, and presence of melanoma cells in your lymphatic system. X-rays, blood tests, and computed tomography (CT) scans may also be used to confirm melanoma stage.
Staging, based on these traditional pathology factors is then used to guide decisions on:
- Type of surgery to completely remove the melanoma
- Whether to consider and undergo a sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) surgical procedure
- Follow-up management plan, including frequency and extent of office visits, routine imaging studies, adjuvant therapy, and/or enrollment in clinical trials