Sentinel lymph node biopsy: Examination of the first lymph node ("gland") that receives lymphatic drainage from a tumor to determine whether that node does or does not have tumor cells within it.
Which lymph node is the sentinel node for a given tumor is determined by injecting around the tumor a tracer substance that will travel through the lymphatic system to the first draining (sentinel) node and identify it. The tracer substance may be blue dye that can be visually tracked or a radioactive colloid that can be radiologically followed.
Biopsy of the sentinel lymph node can reveal whether there are lymphatic metastases. If the sentinel node contains tumor cells, removal of more nodes in the area may be warranted. If the sentinel node is normal, this obviates the need for extensive dissection of the regional lymph-node basin.
Sentinel lymph node biopsy has become a standard technique, for example, to determine the nodal stage of disease in some patients with malignant melanoma.
A fact sheet that describes the sentinel lymph node biopsy procedure and details two clinical trials evaluating the effectiveness of this procedure. National Cancer ...
A sentinel lymph node biopsy is a surgery that takes out lymph node tissue to look for cancer. A sentinel node biopsy is used to see if a known breast cancer ...
Read about sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLN), a procedure used to stage breast cancer and malignant melanoma. Learn about risks, complications, recovery and results.
Harlow SP, et al. Sentinel lymph node biopsy for breast cancer: Indication and outcomes. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Aug. 4, 2009.
What is a Sentinel Lymph Node? What is Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy? How is Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy Performed? Why is Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy Performed?