Re-evaluation of Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy for Melanoma

Steven Morrison, Dale Han

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The vast majority of patients newly diagnosed with melanoma present with clinically localized disease, and sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) is a standard of care in the management of these patients, particularly in intermediate thickness cases, in order to provide important prognostic data. However, SLNB also has an important role in the management of patients with other subtypes of melanoma such as thick melanomas, certain thin melanomas, and specific histologic variants of melanoma such as desmoplastic melanoma. Furthermore, there have been technical advances in the SLNB technique, such as the development of newer radiotracers and use of SPECT/CT, and there is some data to suggest performing a SLNB may be therapeutic. Finally, the management of patients with a positive sentinel lymph node (SLN) has undergone dramatic changes over the past several years based on the results of recent important clinical trials. Treatment options for patients with SLN metastases now include surveillance, completion lymph node dissection, and adjuvant therapy with checkpoint inhibitors and targeted therapy. SLNB continues to play a crucial role in the management of patients with melanoma, allowing for risk stratification, potential regional disease control, and further treatment options for patients with a positive SLN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number22
JournalCurrent treatment options in oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Melanoma
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy
  • Staging
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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