Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Sentinel Node

  • Ola Winqvist
  • Magnus Thörn
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_5243-2



Sentinel means a lookout, and the sentinel node is defined as the first lymph node or nodes that are located on the direct draining lymphatic route from the area of a primary tumor.


The lymphatic system was first described in the seventeenth century by Olof Rudbeck who systematically studied the lymphatic vessels collecting extracellular fluids from tissues emptying into lymph nodes. The lymphatic system is more variable than the blood system and is anatomically less well defined. The drainage from tumors seems to vary considerably, making prediction of the draining lymph node difficult without guidance. Tumor cells become metastatic either by invasive growth through basal membranes or by entering into capillaries. The endothelial cells comprising the lymph capillaries are widely fenestrated (fenestration) making easy access to the lymph vessel. There is also an active transport of primarily white blood cells...


Sentinel Node Sentinel Node Biopsy Lymphatic Vessel Axillary Lymph Node Dissection Drain Lymph Node 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Cabanas RM (1977) An approach for the treatment of penile carcinoma. Cancer 39:456–466CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Marits P, Karlsson M, Dahl K et al (2006) Sentinel node acquired lymphocytes – tumour reactive lymphocytes identified preoperatively for the use in immunotherapy of colon cancer. Br J Cancer 94:1478–1484CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. Morton DL, Thompson JF, Cochran AJ et al (2006) Sentinel-node biopsy or nodal observation in melanoma. N Engl J Med 355:1307–1317CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Swanson RS, Compton CC, Stewart AK et al (2003) The prognosis of T3N0 colon cancer is dependent on the number of lymph nodes examined. Ann Surg Oncol 10:65–71CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Veronesi U, Paganelli G, Viale G et al (2003) A randomized comparison of sentinel-node biopsy with axillary dissection in breast cancer. N Engl J Med 349:546–553CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine (OW)Karolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Department of Surgery (MT)Karolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden