QUESTION: Are there completed randomized trials demonstrating the safety of sentinel node biopsy?
ANSWER: The major randomized trial looking at the safety and efficacy of sentinel lymph node dissection is NSABP (National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project) B-32. This study is still ongoing. There are institutional studies that demonstrate accurate results in most women when the surgeon is experienced, there were no palpable lymph nodes before surgery, the women were under 50, and there was no pre-surgery chemo for large disease. Learn more about sentinel lymph node dissection.
—Marisa Weiss, M.D.