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Sophia K. Apple 1 Article
Sentinel Lymph Node in Breast Cancer: Review Article from a Pathologist’s Point of View
Sophia K. Apple
J Pathol Transl Med. 2016;50(2):83-95.   Published online January 12, 2016
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  • 21 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Breast cancer staging, in particular N-stage changed most significantly due to the advanced technique of sentinel lymph node biopsy two decades ago. Pathologists have more thoroughly examined and scrutinized sentinel lymph node and found increased number of small volume metastases. While pathologists use the strict criteria from the Tumor Lymph Node Metastasis (TNM) Classification, studies have shown poor reproducibility in the application of American Joint Committee on Cancer and International Union Against Cancer/TNM guidelines for sentinel lymph node classification in breast cancer. In this review article, a brief history of TNM with a focus on N-stage is described, followed by innate problems with the guidelines, and why pathologists may have difficulties in assessing lymph node metastases uniformly. Finally, clinical significance of isolated tumor cells, micrometastasis, and macrometastasis is described by reviewing historical retrospective data and significant prospective clinical trials.


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JPTM : Journal of Pathology and Translational Medicine