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Letters Sentinel node biopsy for melanoma

Is sentinel node biopsy in melanoma a test or a treatment?

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 06 February 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f677
  1. Anthony J Dixon, professor1
  1. 1Australasian College of Cutaneous Oncology, Belmont, VIC 3216, Australia
  1. anthony{at}

Ten years ago we hoped sentinel lymph node biopsy (SNB) “treatment” would prolong life for patients with melanoma. Then the first Multicenter Selective Lymphadenectomy Trial (MSLT-1) failed to show a five year survival advantage.1 Now we talk of the SNB “test” offering some patients a more accurate survival prediction.

We advise …

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