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Jeffrey M. Farma Comments on a New Study of Sentinel-Node Metastasis in Melanoma

Jeffrey Farma, MD, FACSJeffrey Farma, MD, FACSIn an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer,  Fox Chase surgeon Jeffrey M. Farma, MD, FACS, comments on a new study on melanoma surgery published in the June 8th edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study, "Completion Dissection or Observation for Sentinel-Node Metastasis in Melanoma", compared the survival rates for patients who had received more aggressive completion dissection for sentinel-node metastasis in melanoma  with those patients who had received kept under observation. The study concluded that "Immediate completion lymph-node dissection increased the rate of regional disease control and provided prognostic information," however it not improve "melanoma-specific" survival for patients with melanoma and sentinel-node metastases. The patients with the less-aggressive node surgery also had a higher instance of lymphedema, a swelling that can occur after lymph node treatment.

While this is an encouraging study, Dr. Farma, one of the study's authors, cautioned that "Your patient has to be willing to be on a rigorous monitoring schedule."

Study: More aggressive melanoma surgery does not extend survival
by Marie McCullough, Philly.com, June 7, 2017