Nanoparticles in sentinel lymph node assessment in breast cancer.
Johnson L., Charles-Edwards G., Douek M.
The modern management of the axilla in breast cancer relies on surgery for accurate staging of disease and identifying those patients at risk who would benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy. The introduction of sentinel lymph node biopsy has revolutionized axillary surgery, but still involves a surgical procedure with associated morbidity in many patients with no axillary involvement. Nanotechnology encompasses a broad spectrum of scientific specialities, of which nanomedicine is one. The potential use of dual-purpose nanoprobes could enable imaging the axilla simultaneous identification and treatment of metastatic disease. Whilst most applications of nanomedicine are still largely in the laboratory phase, some potential applications are currently undergoing clinical evaluation for translation from the bench to the bedside. This is an exciting new area of research where scientific research may become a reality.