Chapter 2. Basic description of the lymphatic system from the perspective of SLN uptake of radioactive tracers

Pasqualini, Roberto and Janevik-Ivanovska, Emilija (2015) Chapter 2. Basic description of the lymphatic system from the perspective of SLN uptake of radioactive tracers. In: Radiopharmaceuticals for sentinel lymph node detection: status and trends. IAEA Radioisotopes and Radiopharmaceuticals (6). International Atomic Energy Agency, Publishing Section, Vienna, pp. 7-32. ISBN ISSN 2077–6462

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The lymphatic system is part of the circulatory system. It is closely associated with the cardiovascular system because it includes a network of vessels that contributes to liquid transportation throughout the body. This circulatory system is essential for the maintenance of interstitial fluid balance, uptake of dietary fat and for body defense against invasion by disease causing agents. Lymph nodes, which contain large numbers of B and T lymphocytes and macrophages, are located along lymphatic pathways. They have two primary functions: filtering and digesting potentially harmful particles from lymph before returning it to the bloodstream and contributing to the immune surveillance provided by lymphocytes and macrophages. In their function of filtering particles or cell debris, lymph nodes may collect cancer cells that are breaking and travelling away from the primary tumor. The spread of some forms of cancer usually follows an orderly progression, spreading first to regional lymph nodes, then the next rank of lymph nodes and so on. Therefore, the first lymph node (the SLN) is more likely than other lymph nodes to contain cancer cells. If a suitable radioactive tracer, generally a nanocolloid or a dye, is administrated in the proximity of the tumour site, it will travel through the lymphatic system and be trapped in the SLN, allowing its localization using an appropriate probe or by visual determination. The size and the charge of the radioactive tracer will mainly influence the extent of radioactivity remaining at the site of injection, the rate of diffusion into the lymphatic vessels and the uptake in the SLN. Knowledge of the physiology of the lymphatic system will help to identify factors influencing the diffusion and uptake mechanism of radioactive tracers in the lymph nodes and will assist in the design of more efficient and selective SLN seeking drugs.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Medical and Health Sciences > Clinical medicine
Medical and Health Sciences > Health biotechnology
Medical and Health Sciences > Health sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Medical Science
Depositing User: Emilija Janevik
Date Deposited: 18 May 2015 08:56
Last Modified: 18 May 2015 08:56

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