Sentinel node biopsy in patients with cutaneous melanoma

Ferdinando Cafiero, Alberto Peressini, Marco Gipponi, Maria Luisa Rainero, Giuseppe Villa, Mario Roberto Sertoli, Sergio Bertoglio, Luciano Moresco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The role of elective lymph node dissection (ELND) for treatment of cutaneous melanoma is still debated. Initially, lymphatic mapping technique was performed by an intradermic injection of vital blue dye; subsequently, it was improved by the use of radioguided surgery (RGS). Preliminary experience with this technique proved effective for detection of clinical occult lymph node metastasis; it may also enable the surgeon to perform a selective lymph node dissection (SLND) to concentrate on pathologic node-positive patients for the same potential benefits that have been provided by ELND. We performed sentinel node biopsy on 48 patients with stage pT3N0M0 melanoma. Vital blue dye mapping only was carried out on 39 patients; the remaining nine patients had a combined lymphatic mapping with both blue dye and RGS. The sentinel lymph node (SLN) was identified in 46 of 48 patients (95.8%). Ten patients (20.8%) were found to have metastatic melanoma cells in their SLN(s); all these patients underwent SLND of the affected basin. Our findings confirm that the intraoperative lymphatic mapping of the SLN using both blue dye and radiodetection is an appropriate and simple technique for selecting patients who are more likely to benefit from lymph node dissection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-286
Number of pages3
JournalSeminars in Surgical Oncology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1998


  • Axilla
  • Biopsy
  • Dyes
  • Groin
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intraoperative period
  • Lymph node excision
  • Lymph nodes/radionuclide imaging
  • Lymphatic metastasis
  • Melanoma
  • Neck
  • Neoplasm staging
  • Radioimmunodetection
  • Skin neoplasms
  • Staining
  • Survival rate
  • Technetium Tc99m aggregated albumin
  • Technetium Tc99m sulfur colloid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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