Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2007 Aug;32(2):356-61. Epub 2007 May 21.

Sentinel node sampling limits lymphadenectomy in stage I non-small cell lung cancer.

Author information

  • 1Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Translational Medical Sciences, Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Nagasaki, Japan. mmuraoka@lucky.odn.ne.jp



It is controversial whether a systematic mediastinal lymph node dissection (MLND) needs to be performed in all patients with stage I lung cancer. The present study was done to examine the new sentinel lymph nodes hypothesis based on the lobe of the primary tumor.


In our first study, the lymph node (LN) metastases were assessed in 291 stage I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who had a major lung resection with a systematic mediastinal lymph node dissection. We evaluated the validity of using our new sentinel lymph nodes method based on the lobe of the primary tumor as follows: the pretracheal (#3), tracheobronchial (#4), and hilar nodes (#10) for right upper lobe tumors; #4, subcarinal (#7), and #10 for middle lobe tumors; the subaortic (#5), paraaortic (#6), and #10 for left upper lobe tumors; and the #7, #10, and interlobar nodes (#11) for tumors in either lower lobes. In the second study, we performed a lobectomy with new sentinel node sampling in 64 patients with preoperative complications. If all of the sampling nodes showed no metastases on frozen section diagnosis, systematic node dissections were not performed.


Six of 291 patients in the first study had skip metastases that did not involve the new sentinel nodes; 5 of the 6 patients had macroscopic pleural invasion. Thus, we defined pleural invasion as an exclusion criterion for the second study. In the second study, the median follow-up time was 39 months. Metastatic lymph nodes were detected in 11 of 64 patients. Fifty-three patients (83%) had no metastasis in the sampled nodes, and, therefore, a mediastinal lymph node dissection was not done. The morbidity rate in the sampling group was 36%, and there was no mortality. In the sampling group, local recurrences were observed in two patients, distant metastases in eight, and carcinomatous pleuritis in one; the overall 5-year survival rate was 82%.


We found that it is possible to perform a less invasive lymphadenectomy for patients with stage I lung cancer using intra-operative sampling of new sentinel lymph nodes.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk