Sentinel node biopsy for breast cancer: Showtime or dress rehearsal?

Frederick L. Moffat, Takamaru Ashikaga, David N. Krag

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction: Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) may prove superior to axillary node dissection (AND) for breast cancer staging. At issue is whether existing clinical data support performance of SLNB without AND at this time. Discussion: The various methods of SLNB are discussed in detail. SLNB using radiocolloids and surgical probes (with or without blue dye) yields superior SLN localization rates as compared to blue dye alone. However, the incidence of false-negative SLNB is variable with all methods and frequently 10% or higher (11.4% in the only published multicenter study). Conclusions: Outside of a clinical trial, SLNB should be performed in addition to, not instead of, AND. The sensitivity of pathological staging is enhanced and nonaxillary SLNs are identified, while concomitant AND apprehends all false-negative SLNBs. Two prospective randomized cooperative trials provide excellent educational, training and research opportunities for North American breast surgeons as they gain experience with this new, promising staging procedure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-264
Number of pages10
JournalIn Vivo
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000


  • Gamma detection probes
  • Isosulfan blue dye
  • Lymphoscintigraphy
  • Radiocolloids
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Sentinel node biopsy for breast cancer: Showtime or dress rehearsal?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this