Time to Sentinel Node Biopsy Did Not Affect Melanoma Survival

Source: Cancer Network, October 2016

Waiting as long as 3 months from a melanoma diagnosis to sentinel lymph node biopsy had no effect on 5-year survival or sentinel node positivity rate, according to the results of a study published in European Journal of Cancer.

According to the study by Charlotte M. C. Oude Ophuis, of Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Rotterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues most melanoma guidelines recommend wide local excision and sentinel node biopsy as soon as possible after diagnosis.

“Whether intervals longer than 3 months may have an effect cannot be determined by this study,” the researchers wrote. “This reassuring information supports the removal of strict time intervals for wide local excision and sentinel node biopsy from melanoma guidelines and can be used in daily clinical practice to counsel patients and reduce the number of high urgency referrals.”

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