Sentinel Node Mapping in Non-small Cell Lung Cancer Using an Intraoperative Radiotracer Technique

Document Type : Original Article


1 Nuclear Medicine Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Lung Disease Research Center, Emam Reza Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Cancer Biology Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 Thoracic Surgeon, Department of General Surgery, 5 Azar Hospital, Golestan University of Medical Science, Gorgan, Iran

5 Lung Disease Research Center, Faculty of Medicine Mashhad University of Medicine Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


 Objective(s): Lymph node metastases are the most significant prognostic factor in localized non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Identification of the first nodal drainage site (sentinel node) may improve detection of metastatic nodes. Extended surgeries, such as lobectomy or pneumonectomy with lymph node dissection, are among the therapeutic options of higher acceptability. Sentinel node biopsy can be an alternative approach to less invasive surgeries. The current study was conducted to evaluate the accuracy of sentinel node mapping in patients with NSCLC using an intraoperative radiotracer techniques.
Methods: This prospective study was conducted on 21 patients with biopsy-proven NSCLC who were candidates for sentinel node mapping during 2012-2014. All patients underwent thoracoabdominal computed tomography, based on which they had no lymph node involvement. Immediately after thoracotomy and before mobilizing the tumor, peritumoral injection of 2mCi/0.4 mL Tc-99m- phytate was performed in 4 corners of tumor. After mobilization of the tumoral tissues, the sentinel nodes were searched for in the hillar and mediastinal areas using hand-held gamma probe . Any lymph node with in vivo count twice the background was considered as sentinel node and removed and sent for frozen section evaluation. All dissected nodes were evaluated by step sectioning and hematoxylin and eosin staining (H&E).The recorded data included age, gender, kind of pathology, site of lesion, number of dissected sentinel nodes, number of sentinel nodes, and site of sentinel nodes. Data analysis was performed in SPSS software (version 22).
Results: The mean age of the patients was 58.52±11.46 years with a male to female ratio of 15/6. The left lower lobe was the most commonly affected site (30.09%). Squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma were detected in 11 and 10 subjects, respectively. A total of 120 lymph nodes were harvested with the mean number of 5.71±2.9 lymph nodes per patient. At least one sentinel node was identified in each patient, resulting in a detection rate of 95.2%. The mean number of sentinel nodes per patient was 3.61±2. Frozen section results showed 100% concordance with the results of hematoxylin and eosin staining.
Conclusion: Based on the findings, sentinel node mapping can be considered feasible and accurate for lymph node staging and NSCLC treatment.


Main Subjects

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