Adjuvant Radiotherapy for Cutaneous Melanoma



The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the efficacy of adjuvant radiotherapy (RT) in the treatment of melanoma. The risk of local-regional recurrence after surgery alone for locally advanced melanoma is relatively high. The risk is usually related to metastatic regional nodes and, occasionally, to unfavorable findings at the primary site, such as in-transit metastases. The likelihood of a positive sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) exceeds 20 % for melanomas >2 mm thick and 20 % or more of patients with a positive SLNB will have residual positive nodes on completion node dissection. Patients with positive regional nodes have approximately a 20 % or higher risk of regional relapse after surgery alone, particularly if multiple nodes are involved and/or extracapsular extension is present. Postoperative adjuvant RT results in local-regional control rates of 85–90 % or higher in high-risk patients with a modest risk of complications. The impact of adjuvant RT on survival is likely minimal.


Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy Breslow Thickness Completion Node Dissection Extracapsular Extension Positive Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Radiation Oncology, College of MedicineUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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