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REVIEWS  CUTANEOUS MALIGNANCY UPDATE: MELANOMA IN 2007 

Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2007 April;142(2):197-206

Copyright © 2007 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Sentinel lymph node biopsy for melanoma: therapeutic procedure or diagnostic test?

Vemuri B. 1, Sabel M. S. 2

1 Department of General Surgery University of Michigan Hospital Ann Arbor, MI, USA 2 Division of Surgical Oncology University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center Ann Arbor, MI


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Although sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy is considered standard of care by many surgical oncologists and dermatologists, it remains controversial among others. Clinical practitioners in both surgery and dermatology have used the same available evidence to both support and refute the sentinel node hypothesis and the role SLN biopsy should play in the management of cutaneous melanoma. Much of the disagreement centers on whether one views SLN biopsy as a therapeutic intervention meant to improve survival or a diagnostic test meant to stratify risk and select patients for further therapy. This article will review the available data, including the most recent data from the Multicenter Selective Lymphadenectomy Trial-I (MSLT-I), the first prospective randomized study of SLN biopsy in melanoma.

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