Open Access Research article

Sentinel lymph node biopsy as guidance for radical trachelectomy in young patients with early stage cervical cancer

Xue-lian Du, Xiu-gui Sheng*, Tao Jiang, Qing-shui Li, Hao Yu, Chun-xia Pan, Chun-hua Lu, Cong Wang and Qu-qing Song

Author Affiliations

Department of Gynecologic Oncology, Shandong Cancer Hospital, Jinan 250117; Shandong Academy of Medical Science, Jinan 250012; Shandong University, Jinan, 250012; P. R. China

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BMC Cancer 2011, 11:157  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-11-157

Published: 2 May 2011



The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility and accuracy of sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) detection using 99mTc phytate in predicting pelvic lymph nodes status for radical abdominal trachelectomy (RAT) in patients with early stage cervical cancer.


Sixty-eight women with stage IA2-IB1 cervical cancer and scheduled to undergo fertility-sparing surgery enrolled in this study. 99mTc-labeled phytate was injected before surgery. Intraoperatively, SLNs were identified, excised, and submitted to fast frozen section. Systematic bilateral pelvic lymphadenectomy and/or para-aortic lymph node dissection was performed. Then RAT was performed in patients with negative SLNs. All nodes were sent for routine pathological examination and immunostained with anti-cytokeratin antibody to detect micrometastases. Outcomes of follow up and fertility were observed.


SLNs were identified in 64 of 68 patients (94.1%). Of these, SLNs of 8 patients (11.8%) were positive on frozen sections and proved to be metastasis by final pathologic examination. The sensitivity, accuracy, and false negative rates were 100%, 100%, and 0%, respectively. All 60 patients with negative SLN underwent RAT successfully. Two relapses occurred and no one died of tumor progression during follow-up. Five of the 15 patients with procreative desire conceived 8 pregnancies (3 term delivery, 2 premature birth, 1 spontaneous abortion, and 2 were still in the duration of pregnancy) after surgery.


The identification of SLN using 99mTc-labeled phytate is accurate and safe to assess pelvic nodes status in patients with early cervical cancer. SLNs biopsy guided RAT is feasible for patients who desire to have fertility preservation.