Last year in the UK over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials aimed at improving cancer treatments and making them available to all.
A study using ultrasound to examine lymph glands after having melanoma removed (SUNMEL)
Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.
This is a study using an ultrasound scan to examine lymph glands around the area where a melanoma has been removed.
After having your melanoma removed, doctors will examine the
They may also remove the nearest lymph node to see if the melanoma has spread there. The nearest lymph node is called the sentinel node. Finding and removing the sentinel node is called sentinel node biopsy.
Doctors are always looking for better ways of finding out if melanoma has spread to the lymph glands.
The ultrasound scan uses sound waves to look for changes in lymph glands. This involves putting some jelly on the skin over the lymph glands and passing a small device over the skin. The device sends out sound waves and receives them back. The sound waves bounce off the lymph glands and build up a picture of them on a screen.
The aim of this study is to find out if having regular ultrasound scans can pick up changes in lymph glands before they can be felt by hand.
Who can enter
You can enter this trial if
- You have melanoma of the skin - this is called cutaneous melanoma
- Your melanoma is between 1.2 mm and 3.5 mm thick - your doctor can explain this
- You have had your melanoma removed in the last 8 weeks
- You need to have more tissue removed from the area where your melanoma was (this is called a wide local excision) and this is to be done in the next 4 weeks at The Royal Marsden Hospital
- You are at least 18 years old
You cannot enter this trial if you
- Have melanoma that has spread to another part of your body
- Are not fit enough to have surgery to remove your lymph glands (this may become necessary later if cancer cells are found) – your doctor can advise about this
- Have had another cancer in the last 5 years, except squamous cell skin cancer, carcinoma insitu of the cervix or basal cell skin cancer that has been successfully treated or is planned to treated
This study will recruit 90 people from The Royal Marsden Hospital. Everyone taking part in this study will have an ultrasound of lymph glands in the area where the doctor removed their melanoma.
If any lymph glands look different from normal on the ultrasound, and this may be caused by melanoma, the doctor will use a small needle to take a sample of cells from the affected lymph node. This is called a
If your melanoma has spread you will have surgery to remove the lymph glands.
If you decide to take part in this study the researchers will ask your permission for blood samples. These will be stored safely and may be used in the future for research purposes only.
If you don’t want to give permission for these samples, you don’t have to. You can still take part in the study.
There are no extra visits as a result of taking part in this study. You have the ultrasound on the same day you see your doctor and this takes about 10 minutes.
There are no side effects from taking part in this study, apart from a possible slight bruising from where you have the blood test and cell sample taken from your lymph nodes.
How to join a clinical trial
Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.
Prof J Meirion Thomas
The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust