Eur J Cancer 2019 Apr 17;114:1-7. Epub 2019 Apr 17.
Department of Surgical Oncology, Netherlands Cancer Institute Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
The sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy is a highly accurate staging procedure and the most important prognostic factor in melanoma patients. The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Melanoma Group aimed to design an updated evolved SLN protocol for the histopathological workup and reporting. We herein recommend extending the distance between steps according to the short axis dimension of the lymph node and optimise both conventional sectioning and staining procedures including immunohistochemistry. We also provide guidance on the description of the spatial localisation of melanoma deposits in a SLN. The histopathological features to be reported include the following: presence or absence of the metastasis, the intranodal location of the metastasis (subcapsular, parenchymal, combined, extensive confluent and extensive multifocal), the number of the metastatic deposits (1, 2-5, 6-10, 11-20 and >20), the maximum dimension of the largest metastasis (indicating its site) and the presence of extracapsular extension and of naevus cells. This updated EORTC protocol is expected to clarify and simplify the existing procedures, ensuring a reasonable workload for the laboratory and for the pathologists resulting in cost saving with no loss, and possible increase, in accuracy.