High incidence of in-transit metastases after sentinel node biopsy in patients with melanoma

Authors

  • S. H. Estourgie,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Surgery, Netherlands Cancer Institute/Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    • Department of Surgery, Netherlands Cancer Institute/Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Search for more papers by this author
  • O. E. Nieweg,

    1. Department of Surgery, Netherlands Cancer Institute/Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Search for more papers by this author
  • B. B. R. Kroon

    1. Department of Surgery, Netherlands Cancer Institute/Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Background:

The occurrence of in-transit metastases in patients with a tumour-positive sentinel node varies greatly between centres and it has been suggested that the incidence is high in this patient group.

Methods:

The incidence of in-transit metastases in 61 patients who had lymph node dissection because of a tumour-positive sentinel node was compared with that in 60 patients who had palpable nodal metastases dissected.

Results:

The incidence of in-transit metastases was 23 per cent in patients with a positive sentinel node and 8 per cent in those with palpable nodes (P = 0·027).

Conclusion:

Sentinel node biopsy was associated with a higher risk of in-transit metastases. This finding does not support the routine use of sentinel node biopsy in the management of melanoma. Copyright © 2004 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Ancillary