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Quant Imaging Med Surg. 2012 Mar;2(1):53-6. doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2223-4292.2011.12.01.

Carbon coated superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles for sentinel lymph nodes mapping.

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  • 1Department of Imaging and Interventional Radiology, Prince of Wales Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong SAR, P. R. China;


Intra-operative lymphatic mapping and sentinel lymph-adenectomy (LM/SL) maps the lymphatic path from the primary tumor to the regional nodes and permits selective excision of the first sentinel lymph nodes. It is a well established technique to detect occult regional node metastases for melanoma patients and breast cancer patients. In continuing attempts to improve accuracy, most surgeons now combine a dye (such as carbon particles) and radiopharmaceuticals when performing LM/SL. We developed a proto-type of carbon coated superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIO@C) for sentinel lymph nodes mapping. Compared with combining carbon particles and radiopharmaceuticals for performing LM/SL, there are a number of advantages with our approach: I. SPIO is an MRI contrast agent, thus pre-operative MRI may be used for LM/SL instead of gamma camera. There is no radiation associated with MRI, and MRI offers good tissue contrast and detailed cross-sectional images. II. There will be only needed one injection of SPIO@C nanoparticles, instead of administrating two successive injections of radiopharmaceuticals and carbon particles. III. During the operation, an intra-operative MRI scanner can be used, or more conveniently by a simple magnetometer.


MRI; Regional lymph nodes; carbon; sentinel lymph node; superparamagnetic iron oxide

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