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Invited Commentary
June 25, 2012

Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy in Early Melanoma: Comment on “What the Surgeon Should Have Said to My Patient With Thin Malignant Melanoma”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Dermatology, University of California, San Francisco.

Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(12):907. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.1905

Sentinel node biopsy may be a useful prognostic tool for a subset of melanomas of intermediate stage.1 The Perspective by Benjamin and Froom,2 however, highlights the problems with its use in a different situation: a patient with an early stage IA melanoma, 0.5 mm in depth, without ulceration or a high mitotic rate. This patient has an excellent prognosis, with a 98% expected survival at 15 years and a greater than 97% chance of having clear lymph nodes.3,4

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