Sentinel lymph node biopsy is performed as a standard procedure in breast cancer surgery, and the development of quick and simple methods to detect metastatic lesions is in high demand. Here, we validated a new fluorescent method using γ-glutamyl hydroxymethyl rhodamine green to diagnose metastatic lymph nodes in breast cancer. One hundred and forty-nine lymph nodes from 38 breast cancer patients were evaluated in this study. Comparison of fluorescent and pathological images showed that this fluorescent method was successful for visualizing breast cancer cells in lymph nodes. This method had a sufficiently high sensitivity (97%), specificity (79%) and negative predictive value (99%) to render it useful for an intraoperative diagnosis of cancer. These preliminary findings suggest that this novel method is useful for distinguishing non-cancerous specimens from those in need of careful examination and could help save time and cost for surgeons and pathologists.
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