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Published in Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vol 30, Issue 23 (August), 2012: 2912-2918
Sandra L. Wong, Charles M. Balch, Patricia Hurley, Sanjiv S. Agarwala, Timothy J. Akhurst, Alistair Cochran, Janice N. Cormier, Mark Gorman, Theodore Y. Kim, Kelly M. McMasters, R. Dirk Noyes, Lynn Mara Schuchter, Matias E. Valsecchi, Donald L. Weaver, Gary H. Lyman
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) sought to provide evidence-based guidelines on the use of lymphatic mapping and sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy in staging patients with newly diagnosed melanoma.
A comprehensive systematic review of the literature published January 1990 through August 2011 was completed using MEDLINE and EMBASE. Abstracts from ASCO and SSO annual meetings were included in the evidence review. An Expert Panel was convened to review the evidence and develop guideline recommendations.
73 studies met full eligibility criteria. The evidence review demonstrated that SLN biopsy is an acceptable method for lymph node staging of most patients with newly diagnosed melanoma.
SLN biopsy is recommended for patients with intermediate-thickness melanomas (1-4mm Breslow thickness) of any anatomic site; use of SLN biopsy in this population provides accurate staging. While there are few studies focusing on patients with thick melanomas (T4; >4mm Breslow thickness), SLN biopsy may be recommended for staging purposes and to facilitate regional disease control. There is insufficient evidence to support routine SLN biopsy for patients with thin melanomas (T1; <1mm Breslow thickness), although it may be considered in selected cases with high risk features when staging benefits outweigh risks of the procedure. Completion lymph node dissection (CLND) is recommended for all patients with a positive SLN biopsy and achieves good regional disease control. Whether CLND following a positive SLN biopsy improves survival is the subject of the ongoing Multicenter Selective Lymphadenectomy Trial II.
The clinical practice guidelines and other guidance published herein are provided by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. ("ASCO") to assist practitioners in clinical decision making. The information therein should not be relied upon as being complete or accurate, nor should it be considered as inclusive of all proper treatments or methods of care or as a statement of the standard of care. With the rapid development of scientific knowledge, new evidence may emerge between the time information is developed and when it is published or read. The information is not continually updated and may not reflect the most recent evidence. The information addresses only the topics specifically identified therein and is not applicable to other interventions, diseases, or stages of diseases. This information does not mandate any particular course of medical care. Further, the information is not intended to substitute for the independent professional judgment of the treating physician, as the information does not account for individual variation among patients. Recommendations reflect high, moderate or low confidence that the recommendation reflects the net effect of a given course of action. The use of words like "must," "must not," "should," and "should not" indicate that a course of action is recommended or not recommended for either most or many patients, but there is latitude for the treating physician to select other courses of action in individual cases. In all cases, the selected course of action should be considered by the treating physician in the context of treating the individual patient. Use of the information is voluntary. ASCO provides this information on an "as is" basis, and makes no warranty, express or implied, regarding the information. ASCO specifically disclaims any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular use or purpose. ASCO assumes no responsibility for any injury or damage to persons or property arising out of or related to any use of this information or for any errors or omissions.