Elective versus therapeutic lymph node dissection has been a controversial field of the surgical treatment of cutaneous malignant melanoma for more than two decades. The identification and biopsy of the sentinel lymph node in different solid malignancies has become feasible by the method described by Morton in 1992. The sentinel lymph node is the first tumor draining lymph node in the regional lymph node basin. If metastasis is not proven in the sentinel node by detailed histological study those are unlikely in other regional lymph nodes and formal lymph node dissection can be omitted. Patients undergoing surgery for primary cutaneous (intermediate or high risk) melanoma have been initiated in this feasibility study. Of the 40 patients the sentinel lymph node biopsy was unsuccessful in two and at least one positive sentinel lymph node was found in nine patients. The duration of the procedure is between five and 15 minutes. After this feasibility study further prospective and randomized studies are projected.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2000|
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