Sentinel lymph node in melanoma: Use of molecular biology (RT-PCR) in the detection of occult metastases

L. Riccioni, P. Farabegoli, O. Nanni, F. Morigi, M. Polverelli, G. Landi, F. Giangaspero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sentinel lymph node (SLN) analysis allows the detection of occult metastases in patients with melanoma. The use of serial sections and immunohistochemical investigations (ICH) increases the chance of identifying metastases. Nevertheless, detection of mRNA of the tyrosinase gene through reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is the most sensitive tool for detection of occult melanoma cells in SLN. From September 1999 to August 2001, in the Anatomic Pathology Unit of M. Bufalini Hospital of Cesena, 489 SLNs from 332 patients with primary melanoma in clinical stages I and II (according to AJCC) were examined. There were 66 (13.5%) SLNs and 58 (17.4%) cases with metastasis revealed by histology and ICH. A single case with metastatic SLN was found in patients with melanomas ≤1 mm in thickness. The percentage of cases with metastases in SLN correlated with thickness of the primary melanoma (p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-195
Number of pages6
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2002


  • Melanoma
  • Metastasis
  • RT-PCR
  • Sentinel lymph node
  • Tyrosinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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