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Utility of sentinel node biopsy in vulvar and vaginal melanoma: report of two cases and review of the literature
  1. K. K. Dhar,
  2. N. Das,
  3. D. A. Brinkman,
  4. J. L. Beynon and
  5. R. P. Woolas
  1. Department of Gynaecological Oncology, Saint Mary's Hospital, Portsmouth, United Kingdom
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Kalyan K. Dhar, MRCOG, MD, Department of Gynaecological Oncology, Saint Mary's Hospital, Portsmouth, PO3 6AD, UK. Email: kdhar2002{at}


Sentinel node (SN) biopsy is widely applied for treatment planning of cutaneous melanoma. However, using this strategy in female lower genital tract tumors has not yet been established. We report two cases, one each of vulvar and vaginal melanoma who underwent SN biopsy and review the available literature. Our experience and available limited evidence suggests that this low morbidity technique can be used for obtaining prognostic information and hence treatment planning for this disease. However, a false negative rate perhaps in the order of 15% suggests that careful consideration is necessary before using sentinel lymph node biopsy in the management of vulvar and vaginal melanoma.

  • sentinel node biopsy
  • vaginal melanoma
  • vulvar melanoma

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