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Technique using CT linked with improved detection of lymph node metastasis in patients with melanoma
Date:9/11/2012

Preoperative 3-dimensional visualization of sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) with a technique known as single-photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography was associated with a higher rate of detection of positive SLNs and a higher rate of disease-free survival among patients with melanoma, according to a study in the September 12 issue of JAMA.

"Melanoma has become an increasing interdisciplinary public health challenge worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, the incidence of melanoma is increasing faster than any other cancer in the world. Melanoma is the third most common cancer in Australia and the fifth most common cancer in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimated that approximately 70,230 new melanomas were diagnosed in the United States during 2011, resulting in approximately 8,790 deaths," according to background information in the article. "Because melanoma, depending on tumor depth, metastasizes early into regional lymph nodes, sentinel lymph node excision (SLNE) is probably the most important diagnostic and potentially therapeutic procedure for patients with melanoma. The histological status of the sentinel lymph node is the most relevant prognostic factor for overall survival in patients with melanoma, independent of primary tumor thickness." The authors add that the recently introduced hybrid single-photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT) imaging technique could help overcome the high false-negative rate of SLNE by providing additional anatomical information to the surgeon.

Ingo Stoffels, M.D., of the University of Essen-Duisburg, Essen, Germany, and colleagues conducted a study to compare the association between SLNE with vs. without preoperative SPECT/CT imaging and metastatic node detection and disease-free survival in patients with cutaneous melanoma. The study included use of a melanoma patient database to identify a group of 464 patients eligible for SL
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Contact: Joachim Klode, M.D.
joachim.klode@uk-essen.de
JAMA and Archives Journals
Source:Eurekalert

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