Although biopsy of sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) has become a standard procedure for patients with melanomas, detection of micrometastases in SLNs is still difficult. To overcome this problem, we have been using RT-PCR for detection of micrometastases in SLNs. Metastatic melanoma cells in an SLN are identified with very high sensivity by RT-PCR by using primer sets of melanoma-specific antigens, such as tyrosinase, MART-1 and gp100. Histopathological re-examination is required when RT-PCR reveals positive results, because biological false-positive results are relatively frequent in RT-PCR detection of micrometastasis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes