Autologus groin lymph node transfer for “sentinel lymph network” reconstruction after head-and-neck cancer resection and neck lymph node dissection: a case report.
ABSTRACT Local or distant metastatic recurrence after therapy is observed in 20–30% of cases of head-and-neck cancer. An unfavorable course may occur after cervical lymph node dissection due to loss of immunoprotective lymph nodes in the head-and-neck region. To overcome this problem, we performed autologous lymph node transplantation from the groin after head-and-neck cancer resection and cervical lymph node dissection. The patient was a 63-year-old man with squamous cell carcinoma in the mesopharyngeal lateral wall. After tumor resection and right cervical lymph node dissection, a lymph node-containing superficial circumflex iliac artery perforator flap was transplanted from the left groin. Pathological examination showed that cancer had invaded the primary tumor tissue stump. Thus, radiotherapy (66 Gy) was performed for the residual tumor from days 28 to 84 after surgery. At 12 months after surgery, no recurrent lesion or has developed. The biopsy of flap and lymphatic vessel endothelial hyaluronan receptor-1 (LYVE1) immunostaining shows creditable lymph network in the flap, compared with normal free flap. This case suggests that autologous lymph node transplantation may keep watch on cancer recurrence by reconstruction of the lymph node system in the resected region, and we suggest that this approach may be very useful in cancer therapy.