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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 451-456

The sentinel node concept in prostate cancer: Present reality and future prospects

1 Department of Urology, Tonami General Hospital, Tonami, Japan
2 Department of Nuclear Medicine, Tonami General Hospital, Tonami, Japan
3 Department of Clinical Pathology, Tonami General Hospital, Tonami, Japan

Correspondence Address:
M Egawa
Department of Urology, Tonami General Hospital, 1-61 Shintomi-cho, Tonami939-1395
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-1591.44246

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A sentinel node (SN) is defined as the first site where cancer cells are carried by lymph flow from a tumor. If this definition (SN concept) correctly reflects the clinical reality, intraoperative SN biopsy would facilitate precise nodal staging. In malignant melanoma, a prolonged survival has been evidenced by a large-scale randomized controlled study. On the contrary, research on SN concept in deeply located cancers including prostate cancer, is still investigative, and no concrete data from clinical trials are yet available. Since 1993, several investigators have demonstrated that the SN concept could be applied in prostate cancer patients as well with high accuracy. Although promising and technically feasible in pre-clinical settings, many hurdles remain to be cleared before clinical application can be recommended. This review addresses the current status and related issues of the SN concept in prostate cancer, and discusses the future directions.

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