Categorized | FDA, Cancer in the News

FDA Approvals, New Biopsy Techniques Advance Head and Neck Melanoma Care

Source: OncLive, April 2016

Advancements in biopsy techniques, as well as several recently approved new therapeutic agents, have made a significant difference in outcomes for patients with melanoma of the head and neck, says Carol Rossier Bradford, MD, a head and neck surgeon and professor of Otolaryngology at the University of Michigan Health System.

In a 10-year follow-up of the Multicenter Selective Lymphadenectomy Trial (MSLT-1), the use of sentinel-node biopsies to identify patients with clinically occult nodal metastases was shown to significantly increase disease-free survival (DFS) rates compared with nodal observation in patients with primary cutaneous melanomas.

Sentinel-node biopsies offer an alternative to elective complete lymphadenectomy, which can have potential complications.

During the phase III MSLT-1 trial, 1661 patients with primary cutaneous melanomas underwent randomization and 1638 were included in the 10-year follow-up. Of the initial patient population, 1347 had intermediate-thickness (1.20-3.50 mm) primary melanomas and 314 had thick primary melanomas (>3.50 mm).

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