The role of sentinel lymph node biopsy in cervical cancer

27 May 2021

Lymph node dissection traditionally has been an essential component in surgical cancer staging for many different malignancies to evaluate for metastases. Lymphatic assessment plays a vital role in prognosticating and establishing the need for adjuvant therapy. Sentinel lymph node (SLN) mapping and biopsy has been proposed to identify tumour metastases while reducing the morbidity associated with systematic lymph node dissection. A SNL is the first group of lymph nodes to drain an organ before it enters the lymphatic basin. The principle that if one or more SLNs are negative for malignancy then the remaining regional nodes in the lymphatic basin will also be negative is the basis behind omission of the traditional systematic lymph node dissection which will add little value and increase morbidity.