Impact of sentinel lymphadenectomy on survival in a murine model of melanoma

Robert B Rebhun, Alexander J F Lazar, Isaiah J. Fidler, Jeffrey E. Gershenwald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Lymphatic mapping and sentinel lymph node biopsy-also termed sentinel lymphadenectomy (SL)-has become a standard of care for patients with primary invasive cutaneous melanoma. This technique has been shown to provide accurate information about the disease status of the regional lymph node basins at risk for metastasis, provide prognostic information, and provide durable regional lymph node control. The potential survival benefit afforded to patients undergoing SL is controversial. Central to this controversy is whether metastasis to regional lymph nodes occurs independent of or prior to widespread hematogenous dissemination. A related area of uncertainty is whether tumor cells residing within regional lymph nodes have increased metastatic potential. We have used a murine model of primary invasive cutaneous melanoma based on injection of B16-BL6 melanoma cells into the pinna to address two questions: (1) does SL plus wide excision of the primary tumor result in a survival advantage over wide excision alone; and (2) do melanoma cells growing within lymph nodes produce a higher incidence of hematogenous metastases than do cells growing at the primary tumor site? We found that SL significantly improved the survival of mice with small primary tumors. We found no difference in the incidence of lung metastases produced by B16-BL6 melanoma cells growing exclusively within regional lymph nodes and cells growing within the pinna.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-199
Number of pages9
JournalClinical and Experimental Metastasis
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Lymph node metastasis
  • Melanoma
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy
  • Sentinel lymphadenectomy
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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