Intra-Operative Assessment of Sentinel Lymph Nodes in Breast Cancer

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Shramana M. Banerjee
Soha El-Sheikh
Mohammed R. S. Keshtgar

Keywords

Frozen Section, Intraoperative Care, Sentinel Lymph Node

Abstract

Lymph node status remains an important prognostic indicator for survival in breast cancer. Sentinel lymph node biopsy has become the standard method of assessment of clinically node negative breast cancers. Economic implications as well as patient related factors have lead to the development a number of intra-operative techniques. Review of the emerging trends in the last 4 years show that although routine histological examination remains the gold standard in most centres intra-operative assessment remains the most favourable, timely and cost-effective option to analyse sentinel nodes. Molecular techniques appear to be far more superior to other histological tests such as Frozen Section or Touch Imprint Cytology. Emerging research suggests that molecular techniques can be used to predict the presence of non sentinel node metastasis.