“Deborah agreed to take part in a trial as she was keen to help other cancer patients in the future. "If taking part in a trial means others might be helped then I’m very happy with that."
A study looking at a new way to find sentinel lymph nodes in breast cancer (SentiMAG)
This trial looked at using magnetic tracers, instead of radioactive tracers, to find sentinel lymph nodes in breast cancer.
The sentinel lymph node is the first
More about this trial
Doctors look for and remove the sentinel lymph node. This is called a sentinel lymph node biopsy. To find the sentinel lymph node, doctors inject a blue dye and radioactive tracer into the breast. They do it as an operation while you are under a
The researchers had developed a magnetic tracer and a magnetic detector to find where the sentinel lymph nodes are. They thought using these may be just as good as the blue dye and radioactive tracer. They wanted to find out if this was so. In this trial the doctor used both ways to detect each patient’s sentinel lymph nodes.
The researchers also wanted to find out more about the lymph vessels and the sentinel lymph nodes. They did this with an MRI scan. This was called a MRI sub study.
Summary of results
The trial team found that the magnetic tracer and magnetic detector worked just as well as the blue dye and radioactive tracer to find sentinel lymph nodes.
This was a phase 2 trial. All the hospitals involved in the trial used the magnetic tracer and magnetic detector. Most of the hospitals used the radioactive tracer with the blue dye and some didn’t use the blue dye.
Of the 160 people the researchers looked at
- 152 of their sentinel lymph nodes were found using the radioactive tracer with or without the blue dye
- 151 of their sentinel lymph nodes were found using the magnetic tracer and magnetic detector
The trial team concluded that the magnetic tracer and magnetic detector worked just as well as the radioactive tracer and blue dye to find the sentinel lymph nodes. They want to do a
The trial team are waiting for the results of the MRI sub study to be published in a medical journal. When these results are available we will update this summary.
We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.
Mr Michael Douek
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust
King's College London
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer