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Application of Carbon Nanoparticles in Tracing Lymph Nodes and Locating Tumors in Colorectal Cancer: A Concise Review

Authors Liu P, Tan J, Tan Q, Xu L, He T, Lv Q

Received 14 September 2020

Accepted for publication 22 October 2020

Published 2 December 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 9671—9681


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Thomas J. Webster

Pengcheng Liu,1,* Jie Tan,2,* Qiuwen Tan,1 Li Xu,1 Tao He,1 Qing Lv1

1Department of Breast Surgery, Clinical Research Center for Breast, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery & Orthopaedic Institute, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Qing Lv
Department of Breast Surgery, Clinical Research Center for Breast, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, No. 37 Guoxuexiang, Chengdu 610041, Sichuan, People’s Republic of China

Background: Accurate lymph node (LN) staging has considerably prognostic and therapeutic value in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC). The purpose of this study is to evaluate the feasibility of applying carbon nanoparticles (CNPs) to track LN metastases in CRC.
Methods: Two researchers independently screened publications in PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane and Ovid MEDLINE databases. The keywords were (carbon nanoparticles OR activated carbon nanoparticles) AND (colon cancer OR rectal cancer OR colorectal cancer). Titles and abstracts of the articles were meticulously read to rule out potential publications. Next, full texts of the ultimately obtained eligible publications were retrieved and analyzed in detail.
Results: The search produced 268 publications, and 140 abstracts were identified after a bibliographic review. Finally, 20 studies relevant to our subject were obtained; however, only 14 papers met our inclusion criteria and were included for final review. All studies included have compared the control group with carbon nanoparticles group (control group, defined as nontattooed group; and carbon nanoparticles group, defined as administering carbon nanoparticles during surgery) for their efficacy in intraoperative detecting and positioning. After analysis, appreciably less amount of bleeding (3/5 trials), shorter operation time (2/4 trials), and shorter time to detect lesions and dissect LNs (2/2 trials) were revealed in CNPs group compared to control group. Thirteen studies have recorded the numbers of the harvested LNs in both groups; meanwhile, CNPs group shows superiority to control group in LN retrieval as well (11/13 trials), which also could effectively aid in locating and harvesting more LNs with diameter below 5 mm.
Conclusion: The tracing technique for CNPs is a safe and useful strategy both in localizing tumor and tracing LNs in CRC surgery. But there is still a need for more randomized controlled trials to further establish its contribution to patient survival.

Keywords: carbon nanoparticles, colorectal cancer, lymph nodes, trace, tumor location

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