Dr. Boughey on Reducing False Negatives in SLN Surgery

December 5, 2012
Judy C. Boughey, MD

Judy C. Boughey, MD, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, discusses surgical techniques examined in the Z1071 study that could help minimize the false negative rates experienced with SLN surgery.

Judy C. Boughey, MD, associate professor of surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, discusses surgical techniques examined in the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACOSOG) Z1071 study that could help minimize the false negative rates experienced with sentinel lymph node (SLN) surgery.

The Z1071 trial found that SLN surgery was able to detect residual nodal disease in approximately 91.2% of women with early-stage breast cancer, following neoadjuvant chemotherapy. However, the false negative rate for those receiving SLN surgery was 12.6%. Boughey notes that a clinically acceptable false negative rate is generally considered to be 8-10%, warranting further investigation into approaches that reduce this rate.

In general, the Z1071 trial found that using both a blue dye and radiolabeled colloid mapping agent decreased the false negative rate to 10.8% and when more than 3 SLN were examined the rate decreased to 9.1%. Combining these approaches could further reduce the false negative rate into a clinically acceptable level, Boughey believes.

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