Role of sentinel lymph node biopsy in thyroid cancer

Jong Lyel Roh, Wayne M. Koch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Lymphatic mapping and sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) have emerged as a promising minimally invasive surgical technique to detect metastatic nodes in patients with melanoma and breast, colon, esophageal, gastric, lung, head and neck, and thyroid cancers. The SLNB procedure is safe and feasible, with high accuracy in predicting occult metastases of differentiated thyroid cancer. The sensitivity of the SLNB technique has increased as technical details and complementary immunohistochemical and molecular techniques have been developed. SLNB for thyroid cancer may display practical benefits in accurate nodal staging, the detection of metastatic lymph nodes outside the central neck, and the selection of patients who would benefit from complete neck dissection and optimized 131I ablation therapy. Currently, however, there is no direct evidence that SLNB is associated with long-term clinical and survival benefits in patients with thyroid cancer. Well-controlled prospective clinical trials will determine the clinical significance of occult metastases and their early detection by SLNB in patients with thyroid cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1429-1437
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Review of Anticancer Therapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010


  • biopsy
  • clinical role
  • occult metastasis
  • sentinel lymph node
  • thyroid cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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