Sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy may be used to target lymph node metastases in patients with early cervical cancer. Whether SLN biopsy only is acceptable in the staging and surgical management of early cervical cancer remains unknown. This prospective multicenter study (SENTICOL [Ganglion Sentinelle dans le Cancer du Col]) assessed the sensitivity and negative predictive value (NPV) of SLN biopsy.Patients and Methods
Adults with cervical carcinoma who met the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics criteria for stage IA1 with lymphovascular space invasion to stage IB1 underwent technetium 99 lymphoscintigraphy and Patent Blue injection followed by laparoscopic lymph node mapping, SLN removal, and lymph node dissection. Only surgeons trained in SLN biopsy in cervical carcinoma participated in the study. SLNs and nonsentinel lymph nodes underwent routine staining. Negative SLNs were subjected to ultrastaging. The reference method was pelvic and/or para-aortic lymphadenectomy with histologic examination of all nodes.Results
One hundred forty-five patients were enrolled, and 139 were included in a modified intention-to-diagnose analysis. Intraoperative radioisotope-blue dye mapping detected at least one SLN in 136 patients (97.8%; 95% CI, 93.8% to 99.6%), 23 of whom had true-positive results and two who had false-negative results, yielding 92.0% sensitivity (23 of 25; 95% CI, 74.0% to 99.0%) and 98.2% NPV (111 of 113; 95% CI, 74.0% to 99.0%) for node metastasis detection. No false-negative results were observed in the 104 patients (76.5%) in whom SLN were identified bilaterally.Conclusion
Combined labeling for node mapping was associated with high rates of SLN detection and with high sensitivity and NPV for metastasis detection. However, SLN biopsy was fully reliable only when SLNs were detected bilaterally."