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Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2018 May 23;(38):759-762. doi: 10.1200/EDBK_200241.

Practice-Changing Developments in Stage III Melanoma: Surgery, Adjuvant Targeted Therapy, and Immunotherapy.

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From the Department of Hematology/Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, GA; Department of Oncology, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland; Department of Surgical Oncology, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Amsterdam, Netherlands.


In this article, we will focus on the practice-changing developments for stage III melanoma, from the use of the sentinel node (SN) biopsy to complete lymph node dissection (CLND) and upcoming adjuvant therapies. MSLT-1 (Multicenter Selective Lymphadenectomy Trial-1) was the first and only prospective randomized controlled trial to examine whether the SN biopsy has any notable melanoma-specific survival benefit (primary endpoint). MSLT-1 randomly assigned 2,001 patients to undergo either wide local excision (WLE) and an SN biopsy or WLE and nodal observation. Two prospective randomized controlled trials have examined the potential benefit for immediate CLND versus delayed CLND after sequential observation. Both the DECOG-SLT and MSLT-2 trials failed to demonstrate a notable benefit for immediate CLND; therefore, sequential follow-up with ultrasonography and a delayed CLND in the case of relapse should be considered the new standard of care. The CheckMate 238 study demonstrated a notable benefit for adjuvant nivolumab in terms of 18-month relapse-free survival (RFS) rates compared with high-dose adjuvant ipilimumab. Single-agent adjuvant BRAF inhibition has been examined and failed to improve RFS. However, the COMBI-AD study did demonstrate a substantial benefit for combination BRAF and MEK inhibition for patients with BRAF-mutated resected stage IIIA to IIIC melanoma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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