Sentinel node (SN) biopsy represents a safe procedure to identify the first node of the regional lymphatic basin. By this technique we could detect patients early with clinically occult nodal disease. At the National Cancer Institute of Milano from February 1994 to May 1996, 60 patients with a melanoma of trunk or limbs and without clinical evidence of nodal disease were submitted to SN biopsy after vital dye injection in the site of origin of the primary melanoma. In the majority of patients (93%) of this group a single stained SN was detected and in 4 cases (7%) two sentinel nodes were found. Nodal metastases were detected in 11 patients (20%); five of these were identified by an intraoperative frozen section exam. In 9 cases the SN was found at radical dissection to be the only one affected. Incidence of positive SN is correlated with the depth of infiltration of the primary lesion. Technical failures determined 2 local relapses; all patients are currently alive and free of disease with a follow-up ranging from 1 to 27 months. SN biopsy represents a safe procedure for the detection of early nodal metastases; such a procedure could reduce the number of unnecessary lymphadenectomies introducing the concept of selective dissection as an optional approach to elective or delayed ones.
|Translated title of the contribution||Sentinel node biopsy and selective lymphadenectomy in the management of metastatic melanoma in regional lymph nodes|
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - 1996|
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