Henry M. Kuerer, MD, PhD, FACS, professor of surgery, Department of Surgical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses sentinel node clipping for post-chemotherapy identification.
There has been a paradigm shift in the local management of patients with node-positive breast cancer. It is known that chemotherapy and biologic agents can completely eradicate disease in approximately 3-6 months in a significant amount of patients.
Results from the ACOSOG Z1071 (Alliance) clinical trial led by Judy C. Boughey, MD, showed that the current sentinel node procedure has a fairly high false negative rate. There remains a need to be more accurate and do fewer surgeries.
At The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Kuerer says, a trial was completed in which physicians biopsied a patient’s lymph nodes, put a clip, and used an I-125 seed at the end to ensure that the node was removed and tested.
Other trials are ongoing that will hopefully minimize surgery, even for node positive patients.