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Am J Surg. 2007 Oct;194(4):426-32.

Scientific Impact Recognition Award. Sentinel node staging for breast cancer: intraoperative molecular pathology overcomes conventional histologic sampling errors.

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  • 1Breast Health Services, Morton Plant Mease Health Care, 303 Pinellas St, Ste. 310, Clearwater, FL 33756, USA.



When sentinel node dissection reveals breast cancer metastasis, completion axillary lymph node dissection is ideally performed during the same operation. Intraoperative histologic techniques have low and variable sensitivity. A new intraoperative molecular assay (GeneSearch BLN Assay; Veridex, LLC, Warren, NJ) was evaluated to determine its efficiency in identifying significant sentinel lymph node metastases (>.2 mm).


Positive or negative BLN Assay results generated from fresh 2-mm node slabs were compared with results from conventional histologic evaluation of adjacent fixed tissue slabs.


In a prospective study of 416 patients at 11 clinical sites, the assay detected 98% of metastases >2 mm and 88% of metastasis greater >.2 mm, results superior to frozen section. Micrometastases were less frequently detected (57%) and assay positive results in nodes found negative by histology were rare (4%).


The BLN Assay is properly calibrated for use as a stand alone intraoperative molecular test.

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