, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 485-489
Date: 05 Dec 2009

Significance of sentinel lymph node biopsy in malignant melanoma: overview of international data

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Abstract

The notion of sentinel lymph node (SLN) mapping and its use during surgery for staging cancer was initially reported in 1992, in a study involving patients with malignant melanoma. To date SLN biopsy (SLNB) has emerged as a rational approach for staging regional lymph nodes in patients with clinically node-negative melanoma (stage I and II disease). The significance of SLNB as a staging and prognostic tool in melanoma is widely accepted. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis of the SLN remains very controversial. Whether SLNB improves survival in melanoma patients remains an open question.