The validity of the sentinel node concept in gastrointestinal cancers

Y. Kitagawa, H. Fujii, M. Mukai, N. Ando, T. Kubota, T. Ikeda, M. Ohgami, M. Watanabe, Y. Otani, S. Ozawa, H. Hasegawa, T. Furukawa, T. Nakahara, A. Kubo, K. Kumai, M. Kitajima

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Although the sentinel node concept has been validated and clinically applied to breast cancer and malignant melanoma, its clinical significance in other solid tumors has not been thoroughly investigated. With regard to gastrointestinal (GI) cancers in particular, our surgeons have been cautious because of the high frequency of skip metastasis and the complicated lymphatic system in the GI tract. We would like to emphasize that so-called skip metastasis has been defined according to anatomic classification of regional lymph nodes and that the lymphatic drainage route must be patient or lesion specific. To test the validity and feasibility of this concept in GI cancers, we have established a radio-guided intraoperative sentinel node navigation system using preoperative endoscopic submucosal injection of radioactive tracer followed by intra-operative gamma-probing. In 131 patients with GI cancers (esophagus: 22, stomach: 71, colorectum: 38), the detection rate of sentinel nades was 91% and overall diagnostic accuracy of lymph node metastasis by sentinel node status was 97%. Initial results suggest further investigation of this procedure as an accurate staging and a minimally invasive approach to early GI cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-319
Number of pages5
JournalNippon Geka Gakkai zasshi
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Mar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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