Melanoma Center Research
New research by investigators in CPMC’s Melanoma Center published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology
November 19, 2013
Dr. Stanley Leong and Dr. Mohammed Kashani-Sabet’s leadership in melanoma was recognized last week when their latest research—in collaboration with the Sentinel Lymph Node Working Group—was highlighted by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).
Their paper on “predictors of sentinel lymph node metastasis in thin melanoma” was published online in the high-impact Journal of Clinical Oncology, and summarized in a daily news summary for all ASCO members as the lead story.
The results of their retrospective multicenter study suggest that sentinel lymph node biopsy should be performed for thin melanomas with a tumor thickness of 0.75 mm or greater.
Some patients with primary melanoma will develop metastasis in their lymph nodes. Many studies have shown that the extent of spread to the sentinel lymph node is one of the most important prognostic factors in patients with cutaneous melanoma. For patients with melanomas between 1-4 mm in thickness, physicians generally have adequate diagnostic criteria for knowing when to perform a sentinel node biopsy, also known as selective lymphadenectomy (removal of one or more groups of lymph nodes).
But this new research by Dr. Leong and his colleagues helps better define criteria for identifying patients with melanomas less than 1 mm in thickness who have a significant risk of developing malignant tumors in their sentinel lymph nodes.
CPMC’s Center for Melanoma Research and Treatment conducts an active melanoma program in the U.S., and its research and patient care initiatives are helping make important strides in the diagnosis and treatment of melanoma. Moving away from a “one size fits all” approach, the Melanoma Center is focusing on targeted, personalized strategies to improve patient outcomes.
This year alone, more than 76,000 people will be diagnosed with melanoma in the U.S.