, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 18-20,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 30 Oct 2009

Survival and the Sentinel Lymph Node in Melanoma

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Lymphatic mapping with sentinel lymphadenectomy (SLND) has become the standard approach to intermediate thickness melanoma at most melanoma centers worldwide. The procedure has yielded numerous, unquestioned benefits for patients with melanoma, including providing vital prognostic information and improving disease-free survival with reduction of morbid regional nodal recurrences. However, some uncertainty regarding the impact of the procedure on overall survival persists.1,2

Leiter and colleagues provide additional data to examine SLND in this issue of the Annals of Surgical Oncology. They present a retrospective series of the 879 patients with intermediate thickness melanoma treated at the University of Tuebingen from 1991 to 2005, half of whom had undergone SLND (439) and half of whom did not (440). These investigators were not participants in the Multicenter Selective Lymphadenectomy Trial (MSLT1), and so their data are independent of those of the randomized, prospective trial.3 One ...