Lymphatic mapping and sentinel node identification for colorectal cancer.
The primary treatment of resectable CRC is surgical resection. Postoperative adjuvant therapies are recommended when lymph node metastases are found (stage III). There is evidence that about 20% of node negative CRC cases (stage II) are understaged, i.e., they are actually node positive (stage III). New intraoperative procedures (lymphatic mapping and sentinel node identification) that are able to detect occult macro- and micrometastases. Molecular assessment of nodal disease should improve the current staging criteria for colon cancer and could influence recommendation for adjuvant treatment.
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