DOI: 10.3390/cancers15245755 ISSN: 2072-6694

An Updated Review on the Emerging Role of Indocyanine Green (ICG) as a Sentinel Lymph Node Tracer in Breast Cancer

Ioanna Akrida, Nikolaos V. Michalopoulos, Maria Lagadinou, Maria Papadoliopoulou, Ioannis Maroulis, Francesk Mulita
  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) has become the standard of care for clinically node-negative breast cancer and has recently been shown by clinical trials to be also feasible for clinically node-positive patients treated with primary systemic therapy. The dual technique using both radioisotope (RI) and blue dye (BD) as tracers for the identification of sentinel lymph nodes is considered the gold standard. However, allergic reactions to blue dye as well as logistics issues related to the use of radioactive agents, have led to research on new sentinel lymph node (SLN) tracers and to the development and introduction of novel techniques in the clinical practice. Indocyanine green (ICG) is a water-soluble dye with fluorescent properties in the near-infrared (NIR) spectrum. ICG has been shown to be safe and effective as a tracer during SLNB for breast cancer and accumulating evidence suggests that ICG is superior to BD and at least comparable to RI alone and to RI combined with BD. Thus, ICG was recently proposed as a reliable SLN tracer in some breast cancer clinical practice guidelines. Nevertheless, there is lack of consensus regarding the optimal role of ICG for SLN mapping. Specifically, it is yet to be determined whether ICG should be used in addition to BD and/or RI, or if ICG could potentially replace these long-established traditional SLN tracers. This article is an updated overview of somerecent studies that compared ICG with BD and/or RI regarding their accuracy and effectiveness during SLNB for breast cancer.

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