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February 2004

Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy in Patients With Thin Melanoma

Arch Dermatol. 2004;140(2):237-239. doi:10.1001/archderm.140.2.237-b

In their recent article, Lowe et al1 conclude that "the results of our study suggest that sentinel lymph node biopsy of patients with melanomas less than or equal to 1 mm in depth may be indicated when the Clark level is III or more." This statement is misleading to the readership, and not supported by their data. No statistical difference was detected regarding predictive factors for positive sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) findings in their patients (P = .07). The authors admit, "the outcomes of our study were limited by the small size of our study group." Why then, did they submit this work for publication (and more important, how did it pass through the peer review process)?