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Axillary Lymph Node Localization

Team Members:
  • Shohini Ghosh
  • Yunchan Chen
  • Himanshu Dashora
  • Jacqueline Lanzaro
  • Akash Monpara
  • Nicholas Durr, PhD
  • Ryan Woods, MD, MPH


In the US, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality among women. Our team is working to improve axillary nodal staging – a procedure where the lymph nodes are evaluated for cancer. The condition of these nodes is a strong predictor of recurrence and informs therapy decisions.The current standard-of-care involves ultrasound-guided biopsy of abnormal nodes and placement of metallic marker clips for later identification. Treatment guidelines require metastatic node removal during surgery, but nodes can appear normal after chemotherapy and cannot always be differentiated from healthy nodes.Surgeons confirm removal of biopsied metastatic nodes based on localization wires placed prior to surgery. However, sensitive structures in the area make this procedure risky. As a result, breast cancer radiologists and surgeons need a way to locate known cancerous lymph nodes in the axilla to increase removal of positive nodes during axillary surgery.

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