Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy in Early Stages of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Using the Receptor-Targeted Radiotracer 99m Tc-Tilmanocept

Christian Doll, Claudius Steffen, Holger Amthauer, Nadine Thieme, Thomas Elgeti, Kai Huang, Kilian Kreutzer, Steffen Koerdt, Max Heiland, Benedicta Beck-Broichsitter
Diagnostics 2021 July 8, 11 (7)
Neck management in patients with early-stage, clinically node-negative oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) remains a matter of discussion. Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) represents a treatment alternative to avoid elective neck dissection (END) in this cohort and different protocols and tracers exist. Here we present the clinical outcome of SLNB using 99m Tc-tilmanocept in a two-day protocol in patients suffering from early-stage OSCC. A total of 13 patients (males: 6; females: 7; mean age: 65.7 years, ranging from 47 to 89 years) were included in this study. Most of the patients suffered from an OSCC of the floor of mouth ( n = 6), followed by tongue ( n = 5) and upper alveolar crest/hard palate ( n = 2). Sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) were successfully identified in all cases (range: 1-7). The average length of hospital stay was 4.7 days (range: 3-8 days) and mean duration of surgical intervention was 121 min (range: 74-233 min). One patient who suffered from an OSCC of the tongue was sentinel lymph node positive (SLN+). The mean follow-up for all sentinel lymph node negative (SLN-) patients ( n = 12) was 20.3 months (range: 10-28 months). No local or nodal recurrences were observed within the observation period. In our patient cohort, SLNB using 99m Tc-tilmanocept in a two-day protocol proved to be a reliable and safe staging method for patients suffering from early-stage, clinically node-negative OSCC. These results and their possible superiority to colloid tracers have to be confirmed in a prospective randomized controlled study.

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