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, 2e5, 6e10, 11e20 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. ª 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Keywords Melanoma, Sentinel lymph node, Pathology protocol, Sectioning, Tumour burden, Metastasis topography, Immunohistochemistry, Nodal naevus cells, Recommendations
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Journal European Journal of Cancer
Cook, M, Massi, D., Szumera-Cieckiewicz, A., van den Oord, J, Blokx, W., Kempen, L.C, … van Akkooi, A.C.J. (2019). An updated European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) protocol for pathological evaluation of sentinel lymph nodes for melanoma. European Journal of Cancer, 114, 1–7. doi:10.1016/j.ejca.2019.03.010