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What is the aim of a sentinel lymph node biopsy procedure during early cancer treatment?
Identify the lymph nodes with the highest blood circulation
Identify the lymph nodes with the highest potential for harbouring metastases
Identify the lymph nodes with the highest calcium concentration
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Scientific background information
The main reason why patients die of cancer is that the cancer cells spread to form secondary tumours, or metastases, in vital organs such as the lungs and liver. A route frequently used by cancer cells is the lymphatic system. In many cancer types, like breast and prostate cancer, lymph nodes are typically the first sites where secondary tumours form, due to their natural filtration function.
For this reason, many treatments for early-stage cancer involve a procedure called ‘sentinel lymph node biopsy’, or SLNB. This method identifies the lymph nodes with the highest potential for harbouring metastases and helps to determine the nodal stage of the cancer to make informed decisions for surgery and subsequent treatment.
Standard SLNB uses radioisotopes for sentinel node localisation. Sysmex offers the Sentimag® / MagtraceTM system - an effective clinical solution that uses safe magnetic fields instead. This eliminates concerns related to the safety, workflow and availability associated with ionising radiation.
Since it was launched at the end of 2012, the system has been used to treat over 30,000 patients and has produced a strong base of clinical results that confirms its safety and efficacy in sentinel node localisation, a vital part of nodal cancer staging. [1-4]
1] Alvarado et al. (2017): SentimagIC: A non-inferiority trial comparing superparamagnetic iron oxide with Tc99 and blue dye in the detection of axillary sentinel nodes in patients with early stage breast cancer. Cancer Res. 77(4 suppl): P2-01-11.
 Karakatsanis et al. (2016): The Nordic SentiMag trial: a comparison of super paramagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoparticles versus Tc99 and patent blue in the detection of sentinel node (SN) in patients with breast cancer and a meta-analysis of earlier studies. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 157(2): 281-294.
 Teshome et al. (2016): Use of a Magnetic Tracer for Sentinel Lymph Node Detection in Early-Stage Breast Cancer Patients: A Meta-analysis. Ann Surg Oncol. 23 (5): 1508 – 14.
 Winter et al. (2017): Magnetic Marking and Intraoperative Detection of Primary Draining Lymph Nodes in High-Risk Prostate Cancer Using Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles: Additional Diagnostic Value. Molecules. 22(12), 2192.