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    ABSTRACT: Sentinel lymph node (SLN) mapping is an effective and accurate method of sampling the axillary nodal basin for metastatic disease. The SLN is the first node to receive afferent lymphatic drainage from the primary tumor. Lymphatic mapping and SLN biopsy have allowed pathologists to perform a more detailed examination of the SLN(s) and, therefore, provide more accurate staging of the regional lymphatic basin. Recently, more sensitive assays have been developed to increase the detection rate of micrometastatic to the axillary lymph nodes. Cytokeratin (CK) immunohistochemical (IHC) staining of the SLN detects micrometastatic disease, which is frequently missed on routine hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) histology. Therefore, lymphatic mapping combined with CK IHC staining of the SLN provides more accurate staging of the regional lymph nodes in patients with breast cancer. At Moffitt Cancer Center, 478 patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer underwent intraoperative lymphatic mapping using a combination of vital blue dye and technetium-labeled sulfur colloid. The excised SLNs were examined grossly, by intraoperative imprint cytology, by standard H&E histology, and by IHC stains for CK. SLNs that were only CK positive were confirmed malignant by sectioning the block, staining with H&E and finding cells with malignant cytology. Lymphatic mapping and CK IHC staining of the SLNs was successfully performed in 478 newly diagnosed breast cancer patients. Twenty-eight patients had unsuccessful lymphatic mapping for an overall failure rate of 5.5 per cent. A total of 134 (28%) patients had positive nodes (N1) detected. Ninety-three of these patients had both H&E and CK-positive lymph nodes, and an additional 41 patients had only CK-positive SLN(s). A total of 385 patients had H&E-negative SLNs, but only 344 patients had negative SLN(s) defined as both H&E and CK negative. Therefore, 41 (10.6%) of the 385 H&E-negative patients were upstaged, because of the detection of malignant cells by cytokeratin IHC staining of the SLN. Microstaging of SLNs with CK has shifted 10.6 per cent of our patient population from stage I to stage II disease. Undetected micrometastatic disease to the regional lymph nodes may account for the significant proportion of stage I breast cancer treatment failures. Furthermore, the ability to accurately stage the axilla by using lymphatic mapping techniques, SLN biopsy, and more sensitive assays may help identify a subgroup of truly node-negative patients with invasive breast cancer who can avoid the morbidity associated with a complete axillary dissection or systemic chemotherapy. Finally, those patients found to have micrometastatic disease to the regional lymph nodes can be treated appropriately in a more selective fashion.
    The American surgeon 06/1999; 65(6):500-5; discussion 505-6. · 0.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The sentinel node hypothesis assumes that a primary tumor drains to a specific lymph node in the regional lymphatic basin. To determine whether the sentinel node is indeed the node most likely to harbor an axillary metastasis from breast carcinoma, the authors used cytokeratin immunohistochemical staining (IHC) to examine both sentinel and nonsentinel lymph nodes. From February 1994 through October 1995, patients with breast cancer were staged with sentinel lymphadenectomy followed by completion level I and II axillary dissection. If the sentinel node was free of metastasis by hematoxylin and eosin staining (H&E), then sentinel and nonsentinel nodes were examined with IHC. The 103 patients had a median age of 55 years and a median tumor size of 1.8 cm (58.3% T1, 39.8% T2, and 1.9% T3). A mean of 2 sentinel (range, 1-8) and 18.9 nonsentinel (range, 7-37) nodes were excised per patient. The H&E identified 33 patients (32%) with a sentinel lymph node metastasis and 70 patients (68%) with tumor-free sentinel nodes. Applying IHC to the 157 tumor-free sentinel nodes in these 70 patients showed an additional 10 tumor-involved nodes, each in a different patient. Thus, 10 (14.3%) of 70 patients who were tumor-free by H&E actually were sentinel node-positive, and the IHC lymph node conversion rate from sentinel node-negative to sentinel node-positive was 6.4% (10/157). Overall, sentinel node metastases were detected in 43 (41.8%) of 103 patients. In the 60 patients whose sentinel nodes were metastasis-free by H&E and IHC, 1087 nonsentinel nodes were examined at 2 levels by IHC and only 1 additional tumor-positive lymph node was identified. Therefore, one H&E sentinel node-negative patient (1.7%) was actually node-positive (p < 0.0001), and the nonsentinel IHC lymph node conversion rate was 0.09% (1/1087; p < 0.0001). If the sentinel node is tumor-free by both H&E and IHC, then the probability of nonsentinel node involvement is <0.1%. The true false-negative rate of this technique using multiple sections and IHC to examine all nonsentinel nodes for metastasis is 0.97% (1/103) in the authors' hands. The sentinel lymph node is indeed the most likely axillary node to harbor metastatic breast carcinoma.
    Annals of Surgery 09/1997; 226(3):271-6; discussion 276-8. · 6.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Comprehensive pathologic evaluation of the sentinel lymph node using step sections and cytokeratin immunohistochemistry enhances detection of micrometastases and optimizes the staging of breast carcinoma. This review discusses our current understanding of the pathologic and molecular techniques for sentinel node examination.
    World Journal of Surgery 07/2001; 25(6):798-805. · 2.23 Impact Factor

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May 21, 2014