Conference Objectives

The technique of sentinel node biopsy is now well established in principle and has been adopted internationally for both breast cancer and melanoma. Other tumour sites are being investigated in a research environment. Sentinel node biopsy in head and neck, particulary in the oral cavity is developing rapidly. It has been adopted as the standard of care in Holland, Denmark and now the United Kingdom. The adoption of sentinel node biopsy unfortunately has not been complemented with a robust scientific foundation in head and neck cancer. Proposals for national and international prospective randomised studies have not found favour with national funding bodies.
It is well established that the sentinel node biopsy technique is an operator sensitive procedure and it is important in a time of rapid adoption of the technique that as much uniformity and consensus can be achieved in applying the sentinel node biopsy technique to the oral cavity.
The object of this conference is to produce a consensus where possible to guide clinical practice. It is accepted that some of the recommendations will need to be corrected as new evidence emerges.

Consensus Design

Three specialist groups have been formed from invited international experts in the field of surgery, pathology and nuclear medicine. Each group will identify topics that would benefit from clarity in a consensus statement and will carefully consider the published evidence in these areas. When registering for the conference attendees will have the opportunity to suggest topics for consideration by the expert panels. These groups will meet on Thursday 19th April (one day before the conference) to deliberate the selected topics and condense the evidence.

These topics will be presented to the conference on Friday 20th and the opinion of the audience recorded.  If possible a consensus report will be delivered at the end of the conference on Saturday.


In addition we invite abstracts for both oral and poster presentations for free paper sessions. Abstracts should be no longer than 250 words and include the subheadings background, methods, results and conclusions. The committee particularly welcomes presentations related to controversy in SNB, new technology and new applications.

In the first instance, please email your submission to no later than Friday 16th February. Only 10 finalists will be chosen, based on the scientific merit of the submission and these 10 finalists will be invited to present orally at the conference.

Clinic Leads


Prof Stephen Lai

Prof Remco de Bree




Professor P Sloan TBC


Nuclear Medicine:

Dr G Gnanasegaran

Professor G Tartaglione



Scientific programme

Thursday 19

10.00 – 5.00Consensus groups meet, Royal College of Physicians, London

Friday 20

8.00 - 9.15Registration
9.15 - 9.30Introduction
9.30 - 1.30Surgical topics for consensus
11.30 - 1.30Pathological topics for consensus
1.30 - 2.30Lunch
2.30 - 4.30Nuclear medicine topics for consensus
4.30 – 5.00Tea
5.00 – 6.00Free papers
6.00Drinks Reception

Saturday 21

9.00 - 10.30Free papers
11.00Free papers
12.00 – 12.30Consensus topics delivered