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Sentinel lymph node biopsy in the management of conjunctival melanoma: current insights

Authors Mor JM, Rokohl AC, Koch KR, Heindl LM

Received 26 March 2019

Accepted for publication 9 May 2019

Published 23 July 2019 Volume 2019:13 Pages 1297—1302


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Joel M Mor,1 Alexander C Rokohl,1 Konrad R Koch,1 Ludwig M Heindl1,2

1Department of Ophthalmology, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany; 2Center for Integrated Oncology (CIO) Aachen-Bonn-Cologne-Duesseldorf, Ophthalmic Oncology Unit, Cologne, Germany

Purpose: To evaluate the role of sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) in conjunctival melanoma (CM).
Methods: This article provides a review of the literature from PUBMED.
Results: Data on SLNB in the management of CM are scarce and only two relatively large cohorts have been reported. Although indication criteria for SLNB vary slightly, positive findings can be expected in 11%–13% of CM cases, including small tumors. False negative SLNB findings are rare (<10%). Failure to identify SLNB has been attributed to the surgical learning curve and recurrent tumors with scar tissue impeding spread of the tracer material. Reported 5-year survival rate following CM management including SLNB, is up to 79%, but there are no comparative cohort studies proving the assumed benefit. Adverse events reported were non-severe and transient.
Conclusion: Patients can potentially benefit from SLNB and the procedure can be offered to eligible patients. However, there is not enough evidence to support SLNB as a mandatory part of CM management.

Keywords: sentinel, biopsy, conjunctival melanoma, lymphatic spread, lymph node

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