Genova, Italy
Genova, Italy

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PubMed | AOU San Martino Hospital
Type: Journal Article | Journal: World journal of gastrointestinal surgery | Year: 2010

Lymph node metastasis predicts survival and recurrence in colon cancer (CC), so decisions regarding adjuvant therapy are largely based on nodal status. Chemotherapy is not a routine treatment for node-negative CC because its toxicity and expense exceed its limited benefit in patients without evidence of nodal involvement. The sentinel lymph node (SLN) procedure is a selective sampling technique that can be used to ultrastage regional nodes. The real problem of SLN biopsy in CC is the procedure sensitivity rate. In future, studies concerning SLNs will have to consider issues such as the role of laparoscopy in colorectal resection (which cause technical difficulties in identification of SLNs) and the risk of overstaging of illness as well as the need to exclude T4 CC and, probably, rectal cancer from the studies. Is this the future of correct staging of colorectal cancer? Lymphadenectomy is at the present an integral part of colorectal surgery and surgeons must perform it correctly to improve their results. Nevertheless, for the future another staging system is necessary in colorectal cancer which takes into account biologic aspects of the tumor to identify patients with aggresive illness in order to treat them with more effective and less toxic therapies.

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