Sentinel node biopsy (SNB), an investigational procedure for staging
breast cancer that involves substantially less morbidity than standard axillary
node dissection, is now routinely performed despite the fact that clinical
trials to test its validity are still years from completion, according to
a new study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (J Natl Cancer Inst. 2003;95:1514-1521).
The study, which involved 3003 women with stage 1 or stage 2 breast
cancer who were treated at five comprehensive cancer centers between 1997
and 2000, reports that the use of SNB increased from 8% in 1997 to 58% in
the last half of 2000.
Hampton T. Surgeons "Vote With Their Feet" for Sentinel Node Biopsy for Breast Cancer Staging. JAMA. 2003;290(23):3053-3054. doi:10.1001/jama.290.23.3053