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Utility of PET/CT in patients with stage I–III melanoma

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To study the utility of positron emission tomography with computerized tomography (PET/CT) in patients with a stage I–III melanoma.

Patients and methods

PET/CT findings from all patients with a stage I–III melanoma attended at our hospital from September 2011 to November 2015 were reviewed.


Data from 83 patients with a stage I–III melanoma, 39 patients with a positive sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) and 35 patients with locoregional recurrences were analyzed. Sensitivity of PET/CT in clinical stage I–III patients was 5%, with a 14% of false positives. In patients with a positive SLNB, PET/CT previous to complete lymph node dissection had a 23% of false negatives. In patients with clinical locoregional recurrences, PET/CT findings revealed asymptomatic visceral distant metastasis in 25.7%.


PET/CT has a significant rate of false positive and negative results in patients with a stage I–III melanoma. Utility in patients with nodal locoregional recurrences seems higher than in patients with skin metastases.

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Correspondence to J. A. Avilés Izquierdo.

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Conflict of interest

IMR declares the following conflict of interest: advisory role from BMS, MSD, Novartis, Roche, Pierre Fabre, Incyte, Amgen, Merck-Serono, Sanofi, Regeneron and Bioncotech. The rest of the authors declare no conflict of interest with the specific topic.

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All patients, prior to the imaging study, were asked to sign a consent form. The study fulfills the declaration of Helsinki ethical standards for research.

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Our research involved human participants who had obtained informed consents. The study fulfills the declaration of Helsinki ethical standards for research.

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Avilés Izquierdo, J.A., Molina López, I., Sobrini Morillo, P. et al. Utility of PET/CT in patients with stage I–III melanoma. Clin Transl Oncol 22, 1414–1417 (2020).

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