Eur J Plast Surg (2004) 27:49
H.S Cody: Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy
Dunitz, London, 2002, 370 pp, Hardcover (ISBN 1-84184-034-3,) $80.00 US
Published online: 10 March 2004
As the editor states in the preface of this perfectly-
produced book, sentinel lymph-node biopsy entered clin-
ical practice over the final decade of the last century, and
represents a new standard of care for melanoma and
breast-cancer patients. In addition, sentinel lymph-node
biopsy shows great promise for the treatment of urologic,
colorectal, gynaecologic and head and neck cancers.
Sentinel lymph-node biopsy, on one hand, proved the
correctness of the local cancer spread to be mechanistic
(anatomically defined), and limited by the regional
lymph-nodes. On the other hand it proved that micro-
metastases are not infrequent and that dissemination of
the malignancy may occur early in the course of the
tumour. Biological tumour heterogeneity is of course
unexplained by this method.
The 370 pages consist of 32 chapters, divided under
four headings: Overview of Sentinel Lymph-node Biop-
sy; Sentinel Lymph-node Biopsy for Melanoma; Sentinel
Lymph-node Biopsy for Breast Cancer; Other applica-
tions of Sentinel Lymph-node Biopsy.
The plastic surgeon, often involved in the care of
breast cancer, may be interested especially in Part 3,
describing Sentinel Lymph-node Biopsy for Breast Can-
cer. Here, various approaches are outlined from other
institutions, these include: Cardiff University, the Nether-
lands Cancer Institute, the Memorial Sloan Kettering
Cancer Center and the University of Louisville. A fas-
cinating contribution on the significance of micro-metas-
tases concludes this section.
In summary, this is a comprehensive overview on a
difficult subject presented by an international team of 52
authors from both sides of the Atlantic and from Aus-
tralia. All the technical details, as they have evolved by
experience in large centres, are presented to the reader as
precisely as possible.
L. Clodius (