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Following the traces of lung cancer
Date:6/10/2011

This release is available in Spanish.

Surgeon Naia Uribe-Etxebarria has used a radioactive substance which, injected into a lung tumour, enables the detection of the path that the carcinoma intends to take in order to propagate itself. Concretely she applied technetium 99 in resectable non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) at an early stage (I or II), and in an intraoperative manner. Thanks to this, she detected with precision the sentinel node (SNOL); the primary node or ganglion of cells to receive lymphatic drainage from the tumour and, thus, most probably the one that will be affected by the tumour and give rise to its propagation. Her PhD thesis, defended at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), is entitled Utility of the intraoperative study of the sentinel node with technetium 99 for the staging of non-small cell lung carcinoma.

80 % of lung cancers are of the NSCLC type, of which 25-30 % are at an early stage (I or II). In these cases, surgical resection is the most effective treatment. Concretely, patients are usually subjected to anatomical resection of the pulmonary lobe or of the whole lung, together with a ganglionary dissection. This dissection helps to define the extension and seriousness (stage) of the cancer and decide on the postoperative treatment to be carried out, given that the lymphatic ganglia being affected or not is highly indicative of the progress of the cancer.

48 patients at the Cruces hospital

With regard to this, a biopsy of the sentinel node is a standard technique for determining the ganglionary stage of breast cancer or melanoma, but neither this nor tinctures are effective against lung cancer. Previous research showed that the radiotracer technique is the most effective in this case, and Ms Uribe-Etxebarria opted concretely for technetium 99 colloidal sulphate.

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Contact: Amaia Portugal
a.portugal@elhuyar.com
34-943-363-040
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Source:Eurekalert

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