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BMJ Case Rep. 2010 Jul 15;2010. pii: bcr1220092593. doi: 10.1136/bcr.12.2009.2593.

The use of intraoperative PET probe to resect metastatic melanoma.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.


Two cases of metastatic melanoma resected with assistance of an intraoperative handheld positron emission tomography (PET) probe are reported. The PET probe is increasingly being used to complement findings made during surveillance monitoring. In qualified surgical candidates metastectomy may completely remove tumour burden on the patient. Two women, one 46-year-old and another 38-year-old, presented with recurrence after having initial exploration for melanoma surgical staging performed either at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) or at outside institutions. Combined PET/CT scans were performed preoperatively for each patient, and the use of the PET handheld probe during surgery aided the detection of the previously undetected metastases. Neither patient suffered perioperative complications.

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