Lymph nodes draining tumors are considered anatomic barriers to tumor spread. The involvement of lymph nodes by metastatic spread of tumors signifies the start of a new phase in the progress of a cancer. It indicates that through a succession of molecular changes, the cancer cells have acquired phenotypes that enable them to invade, colonize, and disseminate. Lymph node status is one of the most important indicators of clinical outcome. Lymph nodes are also the site where specific immune interactions between tumor antigens and lymphoid cells take place. Enlargement of nodes may be caused by spread of cancer cells or due to reactive hyperplasia of lymph nodes in response to tumor-associated antigens (TAA). The various lymphoid cell populations react in various ways, giving rise to different morphologic patterns. Only a few studies have investigated possible correlations between the patterns of lymph node reactivity and prognosis in malignant tumors.
Histological analysis of the patterns in the regional lymph nodes draining the tumor could elucidate the immunological host–tumor relationship and provide additional information on patient survival. Increasing size of the tumor, higher grade, and stage are likely to show decreased number of reactive lymph nodes. More extensive studies on lymph node immune response patterns will be helpful in providing information on patient prognosis.
Keywords: Carcinoma, Lymph nodes, Reactive.
How to cite this article: Saldanha P. Morphological Assessment of Lymph Nodes Draining Carcinoma. MGM J Med Sci 2016;3(4):190-197.
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Conflict of interest: None