The role of sentinel node biopsy in gynecological cancer: a review.
until further notice
SourceCurrent Opinion in Oncology, 21, 5, (2009), pp. 425-432
Article / Letter to editor
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Current Opinion in Oncology
SubjectONCOL 1: Hereditary cancer and cancer-related syndromes; ONCOL 5: Aetiology, screening and detection
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: In early-stage vulvar, cervical and endometrial cancer, lymph node status is the most important prognostic factor. Surgical treatment is aimed at removing the primary tumor and adequately staging the regional lymph nodes. As morbidity of regional lymphadenectomy is high, sentinel node biopsy is a technique with potential for adequate staging with less treatment-related morbidity. This manuscript reviews its current role in vulvar, cervical and endometrial cancer. RECENT FINDINGS: In early-stage vulvar cancer, level 3 evidence indicates that it appears to be safe to omit inguinofemoral lymphadenectomy in case of a negative sentinel node. However, false-negative results with fatal consequences do occur and are often attributable to procedural failures. For early-stage cervical cancer, level 3 evidence points to an acceptable false-negative rate of a negative sentinel node; clinical utility and safety remain to be established. The optimal technique of the sentinel node biopsy in endometrial cancer is currently unclear. SUMMARY: In early-stage vulvar cancer, data suggest that sentinel node biopsy could be offered as a treatment option instead of routine inguinofemoral lymphadenectomy. However, more (long-term follow-up) data are needed to further appreciate real clinical benefits. It is emphasized that the procedure should be performed by a skilled multidisciplinary team, centralized in oncology centers and preferably within the protection of clinical trials. For cervical cancer, data are promising, but routine application cannot be recommended due to lack of data on clinical utility and safety. For endometrial cancer, studies on the sentinel node biopsy are still in feasibility stage.
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