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Recommendations for use of Sentinel node biopsy

Unanswered questions

Important unanswered questions about the use of sentinel node biopsy in early breast cancer are outlined below. Some of these questions may be addressed in ongoing trials:

  • accuracy of sentinel node biopsy in large and/or multifocal tumours
  • accuracy of sentinel node biopsy following neoadjuvant treatment
  • significance of micrometastases and isolated tumour cells
  • optimal management of sentinel node-positive patients
  • accuracy of sentinel node biopsy in recurrent breast cancer
  • significance of the non-axillary sentinel node in prognosis
  • optimal pathological methods for assessing sentinel node(s)
  • role and method of intraoperative assessment
  • overall and disease-free survival following sentinel node biopsy (meta analysis of randomised control trials with long-term follow-up).

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