Current status of sentinel lymph node mapping and biopsy: Facts and controversies

James W. Jakub, Solange Pendas, Douglas S. Reintgen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Lymphatic mapping and sentinel lymph node biopsy were first reported in 1977 by Cabanas for penile cancer. Since that time, the technique has become rapidly assimilated into clinical practice. Morton first described the application of lymphatic mapping for melanoma only a decade ago, and this technique is now accepted as the standard of care. The application for lymphatic mapping and sentinel lymph node biopsy in breast cancer remains approximately 5 years behind its utilization in melanoma. This technique has the potential to be utilized in all solid tumors. The rapid assent of this technique in clinical practice is the result of multiple factors, including accuracy, decreased morbidity, and supplying the pathologist with only a few nodes to allow a more focused and sensitive pathologic evaluation. Despite the success and acceptance of lymphatic mapping, many controversies remain. We have attempted to clearly highlight these controversies in this review.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-68
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003


  • Breast cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Lymphatic mapping
  • Melanoma
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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