Technical limitations of lymph node mapping in pancreatic cancer

HM Kocher, M Sohail, IS Benjamin, AG Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

AIM: The high incidence of lymphatic and peri-neural invasion in pancreatic cancer results in poor loco-regional control. Radical pancreatico-duodenectomy may achieve better loco-regional control, but is accompanied by increasing morbidity. Our hypothesis was that if intra-operative mapping of pathological lymph nodes (LN) is technically feasible in pancreatic cancer, it would allow for selective radical resection. METHODS: In an ethically approved and statistically powered feasibility study of 72 (stopped after 20% enrollment) patients with suspected pancreatic cancer undergoing resection, we injected methylene blue dye peri- and intra-tumorally and studied its progress to identify putative 'sentinel lymph node(s)'. The Kausch-Whipple procedure (or total pancreatectomy, if required) was carried out in addition to radical LN dissection, which was evaluated histopathologically according to the Japanese criteria. RESULTS: Over 18 months, 14/16 patients prospectively recruited underwent lymph node mapping and a mean of 20 (range 11-37) LNs per patient were harvested. Methylene blue dye injection identified blue LN(s) in 4/14 patients, none of which were positive for malignant deposits, whilst 10/14 patients had LN metastases. The commonest stations for LN metastasis were 17A or B (9/10), 8A (2/10) and 6 (3/10). The median survival for the 13 patients with cancer was 22.3 months (IQR: 10.4-30 months). CONCLUSION: Sentinel lymph node mapping is not technically feasible in pancreatic cancer.
Translated title of the contributionTechnical limitations of lymph node mapping in pancreatic cancer
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)887 - 891
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Surgical Oncology
Volume33(7)
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2007

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