Sentinel Lymph Node in Melanoma – a Study Conducted in the South of Brazil


Klin Onkol 2016; 29(4): 274-278. DOI: 10.14735/amko2016274.

Background: The presence or absence of lymph node metastases is a very important prognostic
factor for survival and recurrence in patients with cutaneous melanoma. Controversies remain
among specialists about whether it is advisable or not to perform a sentinel lymph node bio psy
in patients with melanoma, although it is currently supported by most standard guidelines.
We performed this study to identify which patients are more prone to having a positive lymph
node test result in a population with high melanoma rates in the south of Brazil. Materials
and Methods: We performed the study with 62 consecutive patients who underwent sentinel
lymph node bio psies from 2003 to the early months of 2015 in the city of Blumenau – Santa
Catarina, Brazil. Results: Breslow thickness, ulceration, nodular subtype, and Clark level IV were associated with positive sentinel lymph node group status (p ≤ 0.05). Discussion: Although there is still a controversy over whether or not this procedure should be performed, most guidelines still support its application. To lower the economical and physical impact, however, it is worthwhile to determine which patients are more prone to acquiring positive lymph node at presentation and, perhaps, in the future, indicate surgery for this particular group, who could benefi t most from further treatment options.

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