THURSDAY, Oct. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Talaporfin sodium is safe and effective to use in combination with radioisotope (RI) for the detection of sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) during breast cancer surgery, according to a study published online Sept. 30 in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.
Kimito Yamada, M.D., Ph.D., from Tokyo Medical University Hospital, and colleagues evaluated an alternative procedure for sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) using the photosensitizer talaporfin in 21 breast cancer patients (median age, 54 years) from June 2004 to May 2005; patients were followed for eight years. Before the operation, 3 milliliters of talaporfin solution was locally injected into the subareolar region. SLNs were attempted to be located through exhibition of fluorescence.
The researchers did not observe a consistent correlation between fluorescence and pathological SLN metastasis, although all four cases of pathological SLN metastasis did reveal positive fluorescence. SLNs were identified using talaporfin in some cases in which the RI technique could not identify SLNs. After eight years, all patients are alive, none had lymph node recurrence, and no side effects were observed.
"SLNB using the photosensitizer talaporfin sodium in breast cancer patients is considered to be useful as complementary to other current methods," the authors write.