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Eur Ann Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Dis. 2017 Apr;134(2):89-93. doi: 10.1016/j.anorl.2016.10.004. Epub 2016 Nov 11.

Review of sentinel node procedure in cN0 head and neck squamous cell carcinomas. Guidelines from the French evaluation cooperative subgroup of GETTEC.

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Département d'ORL et chirurgie cervicofaciale A, hôpital Gui-de-Chauliac, CHRU de Montpellier, 295, rue Augustin-Fliche, 34295 Montpellier cedex 5, France. Electronic address:
Institut universitaire de la face et du cou, CHU de Nice, centre Antoine-Lacassagne, 31, avenue de Valombrose, CS63415, 06103 Nice cedex 3, France.
Département d'ORL et de CCF, institut Gustave-Roussy, 114, rue Édouard-Vaillant, 94800 Villejuif, France.
Département de chirurgie cervico faciale, centre Alexis-Vautrin, 6, avenue de Bourgogne, 54519 Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy, France.
Service d'ORL et chirurgie cervicofaciale, hôpital de la Conception, 147, boulevard Baille, 13005 Marseille, France.
Service ORL et CCF, centre François-Baclesse, 3, avenue du Général-Harris, 14000 Caen, France.


The reliability of the sentinel lymph node (SN) technique has been established for more than ten years in T1-T2 oral cavity and oropharynx squamous cell carcinoma. Although most authors stress the necessity of rigorous implementation, there are no agreed guidelines. Moreover, other indications have been described, in other anatomical areas of the upper aerodigestive tract and in case of previous surgery or radiotherapy. SN expert teams, under the GETTEC head and neck tumor study group, conducted a review of the key points for implementation in head and neck cancers through guidelines and a review of classical and extended indications. Reliability depends on respecting key points of preoperative landmarking by lymphoscintigraphy, and intraoperative SN sampling and histological analysis. The SN technique is the best means of diagnosing occult lymph node involvement, whatever the primary tumor location, T stage or patient history.


Cancer; GETTEC; Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma; Lymphoscintigraphy; Micrometastasis; N0; Sentinel node

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