Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sentinel node biopsy safe, effective in head and neck melanomas, study finds

Date:
August 6, 2011
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
A common technique for determining whether melanoma has spread can be used safely and effectively even in tumors from the head and neck area, according to a new study.

A common technique for determining whether melanoma has spread can be used safely and effectively even in tumors from the head and neck area, according to a new study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Related Articles


Sentinel lymph node biopsy involves injecting a special dye to identify the first node where cancer would likely spread. If that node is clean, patients can avoid further debilitating surgery to remove multiple lymph nodes. If that node shows cancer, patients know they need the more extensive surgery or further treatment with radiation, chemotherapy or a clinical trial. Patients with melanoma of a certain size or larger are routinely offered this procedure.

But many surgeons believed that the complex anatomy combined with the critical nerves and blood vessels in the head and neck area made sentinel lymph node biopsy unsafe and inaccurate for melanomas in that region.

In the current study, which appears online in Cancer, researchers looked at 353 head and neck melanoma patients who had received sentinel lymph node biopsy at U-M over a 10-year period. After reviewing patients' records, the researchers found that the sentinel lymph node could be identified in all but one patient, and no patients sustained permanent nerve injuries during the procedure.

About 20 percent of the patients had at least one sentinel node positive for cancer and were referred for a complete dissection to remove additional lymph nodes.

Among the remaining 283 patients with negative sentinel nodes, 12 patients recurred in the region where the sentinel lymph node was identified. This suggests that the test yielded 12 false-negative results, which means a negative test was incorrect 4 percent of the time. This rate is similar when sentinel lymph node biopsy is used for melanomas in other parts of the body.

"Sentinel lymph node biopsy is a safe and effective way to determine the status of the regional nodal basin for melanomas affecting the head and neck region. Furthermore, our study showed that it can be done accurately for these patients," says study author Carol Bradford, M.D., professor and chair of otolaryngology at the U-M Medical School.

The researchers also found that sentinel lymph node biopsy was the biggest predictor of how well a patient would do after surgery, including overall survival as well as recurrence-free survival.

"This procedure should be offered in patients with head and neck melanomas the same as patients with melanomas in other parts of the body. Not only is sentinel lymph node biopsy feasible and safe in these patients, but it helps determine the best course of treatment to offer patients the best hope of survival," Bradford says.

The authors stress the need for patients with head and neck melanoma to seek out a specialist in head and neck cancer surgery and sentinel lymph node biopsy. The Multidisciplinary Melanoma Clinic at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center includes specialty surgeons highly skilled in performing this procedure.

Additional authors: Audrey B. Erman, M.D.; Ryan M. Collar, M.D.; Kent A Griffith, M.P.H., M.S.; Lori Lowe, M.D.; Michael S. Sabel, M.D.; Christopher K. Bichakjian, M.D.; Sandra Wong, M.D.; Scott A. McLean, M.D., Ph.D.; Riley S. Rees, M.D.; and Timothy M. Johnson, M.D., all from U-M


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Audrey B. Erman, Ryan M. Collar, Kent A. Griffith, Lori Lowe, Michael S. Sabel, Christopher K. Bichakjian, Sandra L. Wong, Scott A. McLean, Riley S. Rees, Timothy M. Johnson, Carol R. Bradford. Sentinel lymph node biopsy is accurate and prognostic in head and neck melanoma. Cancer, 2011; DOI: 10.1002/cncr.26288

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Sentinel node biopsy safe, effective in head and neck melanomas, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110805135354.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2011, August 6). Sentinel node biopsy safe, effective in head and neck melanomas, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110805135354.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Sentinel node biopsy safe, effective in head and neck melanomas, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110805135354.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins