Lege Artis Medicinae

[The role of sentinel lymph node biopsy in surgical oncology]

PÉLEY Gábor, KÖVES István, SINKOVICS István, FARKAS Emil, DUBECZ Sándor, KOVÁCS Tibor, KERESZTES Sándor, VÁMOSI-NAGY István

JANUARY 20, 2002

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2002;12(01)

[Regional lymphadenectomy (or lymph node dissection) is the integral part of the surgical treatment for most solid malignant tumors. The purpose of this procedure is twofold: firstly, to achieve locoregional control of the disease and secondly, the staging of the disease. The subsequent complication and morbidity rate of regional lymphadenectomy can be significant: the tumor can disseminate after surgery in a number of patients conventionally staged as node negative (pN0). In the 90’s, a new and minimally invasive surgical regional staging method, the sentinel lymph node biopsy has been developed and introduced into clinical practice. Based on the theory of the sentinel lymph node concept, the lymphatic drainage of the tumor is mapped, and the first tumor-draining lymph node, the sentinel lymph node is localized and removed. The detailed histological examination of this lymph node determines the regional tumor status more sensitively than routinely used staging methods and is more cost effective. This technique may allow the use of selective surgical or radiation treatment of tumors draining to superficial lymph node basins. The history and theoretical background of sentinel lymph node biopsy are also reviewed with the feasibility, technique and role of this new method in different tumor locations discussed.]

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