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Surg Oncol. 2007 Nov;16(3):221-8. Epub 2007 Oct 23.

Minimally invasive surgery and childhood cancer.

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Division of Pediatric Surgery, Emory School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA.


Over the last 2 decades, minimally invasive surgery (MIS) has become a significant tool for the diagnosis and treatment of malignant disease in adults. Despite initial reports of port-site metastases and peritoneal spread following laparoscopic resection of colorectal cancer in the 1990s, MIS is now commonly used for many applications in adult surgical oncology, including biopsy and resection of malignant disease in the chest and abdominal cavities, mediastinal and retroperitoneal lymph node dissection, staging of abdominal, pelvic and thoracic malignancies, and management of therapeutic complications. The use of MIS techniques in children is growing with the availability of smaller instruments and equipment more suitable to the pediatric patient. Herein, we review the role of MIS in the diagnosis, staging and treatment of malignant disease in children. We will also evaluate MIS as it applies to the palliation of disease and the management of treatment complications in childhood cancer.

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