99mTc-Tilmanocept vs. Sulfur Colloid for Sentinel Node Biopsy for Melanoma in the Head and Neck

Navdeep R. Sayal, Jeffrey Schafer, Christopher Jayne, Ansar Wali, Robert Lindau, Harlan Sayles, Alissa Marr, Sarah Aurit, William Lydiatt, Andrew Holcomb, Oleg Militsakh, Andrew Coughlin, Angela Osmolak, Aru Panwar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of the study is to compare sentinel lymph node (SLN) identification rates and performance characteristics of lymphoscintigraphy using 99mTc-sulfur colloid (SC) and 99mTc-tilmanocept (TL) for head and neck cutaneous melanoma. This study is a retrospective study, conducted at a single, tertiary care cancer center. Patients underwent sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) for head and neck cutaneous melanoma, using SC or TL, between October 2014 and February 2019. Differences in SLN identification rates and performance characteristics between the groups were examined using the Mann–Whitney, or Fisher’s exact test. Sixty patients underwent SLNB, of which 19 employed TL. There were no significant differences between SC vs. TL in operative duration (116 vs. 127 min, P = 0.97), radiation dose (530 vs. 547 μCi, P = 0.27), median number of SLNs removed (3 vs. 2, P = 0.32), or median follow-up (46.3 vs. 38.4 months, P = 0.11). The rates of positive SLNs (17% vs. 37%, P = 0.11), intraoperative non-localization (12% vs. 16%, P = 0.70), and false-negative SLNB (5% each, P = 1.00) were not significantly different between groups. In patients with head and neck melanoma undergoing SLNB, 99mTc-tilmanocept may not differ from 99mTc-sulfur colloid in identifying SLNs or other performance characteristics. The added expense related to 99mTc-tilmanocept and lack of favorable performance data should urge caution in its adoption and promote further examination of its value in similar patient cohorts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-87
Number of pages6
JournalIndian Journal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2024


  • Melanoma
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy
  • Sulfur colloid
  • Tilmanocept
  • Value

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of '99mTc-Tilmanocept vs. Sulfur Colloid for Sentinel Node Biopsy for Melanoma in the Head and Neck'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this