Melanoma Surgery to be Performed on Internet

November 2, 2006

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The incidence of melanoma is increasing at a rate higher than any other cancer. While it currently accounts for approximately four percent of skin cancers, it causes the most skin cancer deaths. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2006 there will be 62,190 new cases of melanoma in the United States and about 7,910 people will die of this disease.

On November 7 at 5 p.m. EST, Edward Levine, M.D., professor of surgical oncology at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, and colleagues will perform sentinel lymph node mapping and surgical removal of a melanoma during a live webcast.

The sentinel node is the first regional node in the lymphatic drainage pathway from the primary tumor. The tumor status of the sentinel node determines the likelihood of whether the disease has spread to the remaining lymph nodes.

Sentinel lymph node mapping improves the staging of the disease and accuracy of the prognosis. It also serves as a guide for determining what additional therapies would be most effective after surgery.

The webcast can be viewed at or at

Surgical oncologists at the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center have been actively evaluating various treatment options, including a study of the effectiveness of a melanoma vaccine.

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Media Contacts: Jonnie Rohrer,; Lisa Long,, at 336-716-4587.

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. The system comprises 1,187 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.

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