In a nutshell
This study investigated the impact of the time between diagnosis and sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) in melanoma outcomes. Researchers suggested that no negative effects are associated with delayed SLNB.
SLNB is a procedure used to detect lymph node metastasis (spread disease) in melanoma patients. The standard treatment for early skin melanoma is surgery and SLNB. However, the effects of delayed SLNB are not clear. Prior studies showed that delayed surgeries allowed a better immune response against cancer cells.
Methods & findings
This study included information on 2483 patients with early melanoma. Of these, 42% had delayed SLNB (30 or more days after diagnosis) and 37% had early SLNB (30 days or less). 17.4 % of these patients were positive for SLNB.
There was no difference in melanoma-specific survival between those undergoing early or delayed SLNB.
The bottom line
This study determined that no negative effect is associated with delayed SLNB beyond 30 days in early melanoma.
Published By :
Journal of the American College of Surgeons
Jun 16, 2017