The use of magnetic detection system for sentinel lymph nodes in breast cancer has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
During surgery for breast cancer, the sentinel lymph nodes, or the first lymph nodes that drain lymph fluid from the breast, are often removed. The reason behind this is that sentinel lymph nodes are often the first places that cancer cells from the breast will travel and become “stuck”. Therefore, the removal of these lymph nodes is often important to remove the body of cancer cells.
However, the identification of the sentinel lymph nodes, among the cluster of nodes found under the armpit, is often difficult. Therefore, researchers have devised a system using magnetic detection of the sentinel lymph node to assist surgeons in removing the appropriate node(s).
The FDA has approved this magnetic system due to its proven efficacy in accurately identifying the sentinel lymph nodes in breast cancer patients.
For more information, the FDA press release can be found here: https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm614550.htm