Patients with microscopically negative/PCR+ SLN have an increased risk of nodal recurrence that was mitigated by CLND. Although CLND did not affect OS, these data suggest that molecular detection of melanoma-specific mRNA in the SLN predicts a greater risk of nodal recurrence and deserves further study.
Hmmm....as ever....in melanoma, decisions are not simple - especially when this study is juxtaposed against the recent release of the Sunbelt Melanoma Trial final report: Sunbelt Melanoma trial final results I still have to believe that getting that S#!T out of there has got to be a good thing! But, messing with lymph nodes can be a painful, miserable proposition with the significant risk of lymphedema. So....could robots do that job better?
Well, hmmmmm....again. No impressive increase in the number nodes removed nor significant decrease in time on the operating table...but a decrease in length of hospital stay. Perhaps over time we will find that that will contribute to the development of fewer side effects like nerve damage and lymphedema. Have to wait to see what the ratties tell us.
Hang in there - c