Background: Certain patients with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) have much higher rates of regional nodal metastases than is often reported. This study aims to further validate sentinel lymph node biopsy (SNB) for SCC and the outcome of these patients following SNB. Methods: 20 patients with high-risk nonanogenital SCC who underwent SNB between 1998 and 2007 were retrospectively reviewed. SNB was performed under local or general anesthesia following lymphoscintigraphy and blue dye injection. Results: The median follow-up from SNB was 24 months. Tumor location included the head and neck (n = 11), extremities (n = 9) and trunk (n = 1). One patient had a positive sentinel node. This patient developed parotid metastases 13 months after refusing a complete neck dissection and is alive with progressive disease after 31 months. Two patients developed regional recurrence after negative SNB (1 is alive and disease free, the other died of progressive disease). Of the remaining patients, 15 are alive and disease free, 1 died of another malignancy and 1 was lost to follow-up. Conclusion: SNB for high-risk SCC is feasible and allows early detection and treatment of nodal metastases. Currently, SNB for SCC is not a standard treatment and requires further investigation to determine which patients would benefit best from this procedure.

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