Selective lymph node dissection in patients with intermediate thickness melanoma: Our experience

Ferdinando Cafiero, Alberto Peressini, Pier Luigi Percivale, Maria Luisa Rainero, Marta Faggioni, Marco Gipponi, Paola Queirolo, Guido Nicolo, Sergio Bertoglio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The role of elective lymph node dissection (ELND) for the treatment of cutaneous melanoma has been debated for many years. Actually, the value of ELND is seriously questioned because an increasing of overall survival rates has not been demonstrated. The lymphatic mapping technique, initially performed by an intradermic injection of vital blue dye, subsequently improved by the use of radioguided surgery (RGS) proved effective for the detection of clinical occult lymph node metastasis. We performed a sentinel node biopsy on 71 patients with stage pT2/T3N0M0 melanoma. Vital blue dye mapping alone was performed on 39 patients; the remaining 32 patients had a combined lymphatic mapping with both blue dye and RGS. The sentinel node (SN) was complexively identified in 69/71 (97.2%) patients. Sixteen patients (23.2%) were found to have metastatic melanoma cells in their SN(s); all these patients underwent lymph node dissection of the affected basin. Our experience confirmed that the intraoperative detection of sentinel nodes using both blue dye and radio-guided surgery is an effective and reliable technique for selecting patients to be submitted to lymph node dissection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-500
Number of pages4
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number1 B
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Lymphatic mapping
  • Melanoma
  • Sentinel lymph node

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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