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Annotated Bibliography of NSABP Publications

Pre-Randomization Surgical Training for the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) B-32 Trial: A Randomized Phase III Clinical Trial to Compare Sentinel Node Resection to Conventional Axillary Dissection in Clinically Node-Negative Breast Cancer.
Harlow S, Krag D, Julian T, Ashikaga T, Weaver D, Feldman SA, Klimberg VS, Kusminsky R, Moffat FL Jr, Noyes RD, Beitsch P
Ann Surg. 2005;241(1):48-54.

Objective: To train surgeons in a standardized technique of sentinel lymph node biopsy and to prepare them for the requirements of a prospective randomized surgical trial.

Summary Background Data: The NSABP B32 trial opened to accrual in May 1999. A significant component of this trial was a prerandomization training phase of surgeons performed by a group of core surgical trainers. The goals of this training phase were to expeditiously instruct surgeons in a standardized technique of sentinel lymph node biopsy and to educate those same surgeons in complete and accurate data collection and source documentation for the trial.

Methods: This study is a description of the training data collected in a prospective fashion for the training component for surgeon entry into the B32 trial, evaluating the effectiveness of the training program in regards to surgical outcomes and protocol compliance.

Results: Two hundred twenty-six registered surgeons underwent site visit training by a core surgical trainer and 187 completed training and were approved to randomize patients on the trial. The results of 815 training (nontrial) cases demonstrated a technical success rate for identifying sentinel nodes at 96.2% with a false negative rate of 6.7%. A protocol compliance analysis, which included the evaluation of 94 separate fields, showed mean protocol compliance of 98.6% for procedural fields, 95.5% for source documentation fields and 95.0% for data entry fields.

Conclusions: This training and quality control program has resulted in a large number of surgeons capable of performing sentinel lymph node biopsy in a standardized fashion with a high degree of protocol compliance and pathologic accuracy. This will ensure optimal results for procedures performed on the randomized phase of the trial.