Background: Selective lymphadenectomy using sentinel node-navigated surgery (SNNS) might offer a less invasive alternative to esophagectomy in patients with high-risk T1 esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC). The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and safety of a new treatment strategy, consisting of radical endoscopic resection of the tumor followed by SNNS. Methods: In this multicenter pilot study, ten patients with a radically resected high-risk pT1cN0 EAC underwent SNNS. A hybrid tracer of technetium-99m nanocolloid and indocyanine green was injected endoscopically around the resection scar the day before surgery, followed by preoperative imaging. During surgery, sentinel nodes (SNs) were identified using a thoracolaparoscopic gammaprobe and fluorescence-based detection, and subsequently resected. Endpoints were surgical morbidity and number of detected and resected (tumor-positive) SNs. Results: Localization and dissection of SNs was feasible in all ten patients (median 3 SNs per patient, range 1–6). The concordance between preoperative imaging and intraoperative detection was high. In one patient (10%), dissection was considered incomplete after two SNs were not identified intraoperatively. Additional peritumoral SNs were resected in four patients (40%) after fluorescence-based detection. In two patients (20%), a (micro)metastasis was found in one of the resected SNs. One patient experienced neuropathic thoracic pain related to surgery, while none of the patients developed functional gastroesophageal disorders. Conclusions: SNNS appears to be a feasible and safe instrument to tailor lymphadenectomy in patients with high-risk T1 EAC. Future research with long-term follow-up is warranted to determine whether this esophageal preserving strategy is justified for high-risk T1 EAC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4002-4011
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of surgical oncology
Issue number7
Early online date2023
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

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