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Although there have been studies that focused on the correlation between the HPV presence of pelvic lymph nodes and pathological metastasis in patients with cervical cancer, the biologic role of HPV DNA in lymph nodes still remains uncertain. We performed this study to investigate the correlation between the sentinel-node HPV status and pelvic lymph node metastasis in patients with cervical cancer. The patients were followed up for 3 years to evaluate the clinical role of HPV in sentinel nodes as a prognostic factor. From August 2001 to July 2003, 57 patients affected by stages IB-IIA cervical cancer had sentinel-node biopsies performed during radical hysterectomy and pelvic and paraaortic lymphadenectomy. Each detected sentinel node was divided into two parts. One part of them was submitted for frozen section examination and the other was submitted for HPV typing by oligonucleotide microarray. After follow-up, we analyzed the outcome of the patients with respect to the influence of sentinel-node HPV. Sentinel nodes were identified in all patients. A total of 79 nodes from 57 patients were detected as sentinel nodes. Metastasis in the sentinel nodes were found in 10 patients (17.6%) by frozen section and 11 patients by pathologic examination. The results of sentinel lymph node frozen biopsy were statistically significant for predicting the metastasis of the pelvic lymph nodes (P<0.05), but showed one false-negative case. HPV DNA was detected in the cervical cancer lesions of 55 patients (96.5%) and 80.0% (44/55) of them were found to have HPV DNA in the sentinel nodes as well. HPV DNA was detected in sentinel nodes of 10 patients among 11 patients with lymph node metastasis. Disease recurred in five patients and one of them did not show pelvic lymph node metastasis at surgery. But, all of these patients had HPV in sentinel nodes. The combination of sentinel-node frozen biopsy and HPV typing showed a negative predictive value of 100% in predicting non-metastasis of lymph node and no recurrence of disease. Our results suggested the possibility that sentinel-node HPV typing could play a supportive role to reduce the false-negative rate of the sentinel-node biopsy. All of five patients with recurrence had HPV infection in the sentinel nodes. Absence of HPV in sentinel nodes showed reliable negative predictive value for lymph node metastasis and recurrence. Additional study will be needed to confirm the clinical application of the sentinel-node procedure and to determine whether there is a correlation of HPV status of sentinel nodes to lymph node metastasis and recurrence in cervical cancer patients.


Yong Seok Lee, Chae Chun Rhim, Hae Nam Lee, Keun Ho Lee, Jong Sup Park, Sung Eun Namkoong. HPV status in sentinel nodes might be a prognostic factor in cervical cancer. Gynecologic oncology. 2007 May;105(2):351-7

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PMID: 17275890

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