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Less-invasive Lymph Node Resection Following Breast Cancer Surgery Confirmed as Standard of Care in Eight-year Study Led by AGH Doctors
Date:6/5/2010

Women facing breast cancer surgery can now be certain that a less-invasive technique called sentinel node resection is just as safe and effective as the traditional surgery of removing all lymph nodes from the underarm area, according to a new study being presented today at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting by oncologists from the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) and Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) in Pittsburgh.

Chicago, IL (Vocus) June 5, 2010 -- Women facing breast cancer surgery can now be certain that a less-invasive technique called sentinel node resection is just as safe and effective as the traditional surgery of removing all lymph nodes from the underarm area, according to a new study being presented today at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting by oncologists from the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) and Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) in Pittsburgh.

The study represents the first long-term comparison of the two methods’ effect on breast cancer survival and recurrence, said Thomas B. Julian, MD, Associate Director of the Breast Care Center at AGH and one of the clinical trial’s principal investigators, along with Norman Wolmark, MD, who serves as Chair of both the NSABP and the Department of Human Oncology at AGH.

The study, which enrolled 5,611 women over a period of five years, showed no significant difference in overall survival, disease-free survival, or regional control of cancer between the sentinel node resection alone versus complete axillary dissection of the lymph nodes.

“Sentinel node resection is now clearly the standard of care for women with clinically node-negative breast cancer, which comprise the majority of patients,” Dr. Julian said. “Many women with this disease are now able to avoid the potential complications of full
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