Randomized Study of Wide Excision Versus Wide Excision Plus Intraoperative Lymphatic Mapping and Selective Lymphadenectomy in Patients with Invasive Cutaneous Melanoma (Summary Last Modified 01/2000)

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Alternate Title

Surgery With or Without Lymph Node Mapping and Removal in Treating Patients With Stage I or Stage II Melanoma

Basic Trial Information

PhaseTypeStatusAgeSponsorProtocol IDs
No phase specifiedDiagnostic, TreatmentClosed18 to 75NCIJWCI-MORD-MSLT-1193
NYU-9348, NCI-V98-1421


I.  Determine whether intraoperative lymphatic mapping followed by selective 
lymphadenectomy in addition to wide excision of the primary melanoma in 
patients with invasive cutaneous melanoma effectively prolongs disease-free 
survival and overall survival as compared to patients with wide excision of 
the primary melanoma alone.

II.  Assess whether intraoperative lymphatic mapping followed by selective 
lymphadenectomy can reduce the incidence, time to appearance, and anatomic 
distribution of distant metastases relative to patients managed by wide 
excision only.

III.  Assess the incidence of morbidity in these two treatment groups.

IV.  Determine whether tumor associated antigen (TAA-90) specific immune 
complexes are useful in predicting the presence of regional nodal or distant 
subclinical metastases in clinical Stage I melanoma.

V.  Compare the incidence of metastases detected in the sentinel nodes with 
the incidence of subsequent clinically detected metastases in patients treated 
by wide excision only.

VI.  Compare the rate of lymph node metastases after wide excision of the 
primary alone with the rate of lymph node metastases after excision of a 
microscopically negative sentinel node biopsy.

VII.  Evaluate the accuracy of lymphatic mapping and selective lymph node 
dissection in determining the presence of clinically occult regional nodal 

Entry Criteria

Disease Characteristics:

Histologically confirmed Stage IB, IIA, or IIB (excluding satellite lesions)
primary invasive cutaneous melanoma that meet one of the following criteria:
 Clark Level III and Breslow thickness at least 1.00 mm OR
 Clark Level IV or V with any Breslow thickness 

Primary cutaneous melanoma site must be on the head, neck, trunk, extremity,
scalp, palm of the hand, sole of the foot, or subungual skin
 No primary cutaneous melanoma involving the eye, ear, or mucous membranes

No clinical evidence of satellite lesions or intransit, regional nodal or
distant metastases 

No second primary invasive melanoma

Prior/Concurrent Therapy:

Biologic therapy:
 No prior immunotherapy
 Patients receiving wide excision alone:
  No concurrent interferon alfa as initial treatment

 No prior chemotherapy

Endocrine therapy:
 At least 6 months since prior oral or parenteral steroids

 No prior radiotherapy

 No greater than 10 weeks since biopsy
 No prior wide excision of the primary at least 3.0 cm in diameter with the
  shortest tumor-excision margin at least 1.5 cm
 No prior elliptical excision of the primary with shortest tumor-excision edge
  at least 1.5 cm
 No prior organ transplantation consequently requiring immunosuppressive
 No prior skin grafts, tissue transfers or flaps, or lymph node dissection
  that may alter the lymphatic drainage pattern from a primary cutaneous
  melanoma to the adjacent regional lymph node basins

 At least 6 months since any prior immunosuppressive drugs

Patient Characteristics:

 18 to 75

Performance status:
 Not specified

Life expectancy:
 At least 10 years from time of diagnosis, excluding the diagnosis of melanoma

 Not specified

 Not specified

 Not specified

 No known primary or secondary immune deficiencies
 No evidence that patients cannot undergo selective lymph node dissection for
  any reason
 No other medical condition that will affect life expectancy
 No other malignancy in the past 5 years except squamous cell carcinoma of the
  skin, basal cell carcinoma, or in situ carcinoma of the uterine cervix that 
  has been adequately treated more than 6 months ago for T1 lesions
 Not pregnant

Expected Enrollment

There will be 1,600 patients accrued into this study (60% into arm I and 40% 
into arm II).


This is a randomized, prospective, multicenter study.  Patients are stratified 
by primary site (extremity vs nonextremity) and by Breslow thickness 
(1.20-1.79 mm vs 1.80-3.50 mm).

Patients are randomized to receive wide excision with intraoperative lymphatic 
mapping and selective lymph node dissection (arm I) or wide excision alone 
(arm II).

Patients in arm I undergo preoperative lymphoscintigraphy.  Patients with 
positive lymph nodes after intraoperative lymphatic mapping and selective 
lymph node dissection undergo complete lymph node dissection.
All patients are followed periodically for 10 years.

Trial Contact Information

Trial Lead Organizations

John Wayne Cancer Institute at Saint John's Health Center

Donald Morton, MD, Protocol chair
Ph: 310-829-8363

Note: The purpose of most clinical trials listed in this database is to test new cancer treatments, or new methods of diagnosing, screening, or preventing cancer. Because all potentially harmful side effects are not known before a trial is conducted, dose and schedule modifications may be required for participants if they develop side effects from the treatment or test. The therapy or test described in this clinical trial is intended for use by clinical oncologists in carefully structured settings, and may not prove to be more effective than standard treatment. A responsible investigator associated with this clinical trial should be consulted before using this protocol.