Sentinel Node Biopsies in the Management of Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer
The routine implementation of “new” prognostic variables in tumour pathology will be worth only for cases where the prognostic information provided by other conventional methods is unreliable. Currently, the sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy is one those widely applied fashionable techniques aiming to identify microscopic metastatic deposits in the first lymph node draining the tumour area. The use of SLN in non-melanoma skin cancers can effectively identify a subgroup of patients at high risk of metastases, but its meaningful use must consider a careful selection of candidate patients for whom it can provide independent prognostic information, and a proper design including serial sectioning with special techniques and morphologic validation. A collaborative effort is essential for this task.
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