My surgical practice and clinical research focus entirely on the treatment of breast cancer. My research interests have included patterns of loco-regional spread, long-term outcomes of breast cancer surgery, the impact of screening mammography, and, most recently, sentinel lymph node biopsy. This procedure involves removing the first few lymph nodes draining from the breast (“sentinel nodes”) and checking for the presence of cancer. If the sentinel nodes are cancer free, then the remaining nodes don't need to be removed and the side effects of the lymph node surgery are minimized. My colleagues and I continue to study and refine the procedure; we have presented and published our work worldwide and have taught sentinel node biopsy to hundreds of practicing surgeons and trainees. An exciting recent development has been the demonstration by our group and others that even when the sentinel nodes contain cancer, many patients do not require additional lymph node surgery.
I have been the Principal Investigator of MSKCC's Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy Program, have served as Acting Chief of the Breast Service (1996-98), and am active in local, national, and international organizations. I am currently President of the New York Metropolitan Breast Cancer Group, serve on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Breast Surgeons, and as Editor of the journal Breast Diseases. I am on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Clinical Oncology and Annals of Surgical Oncology, and I do peer review for 15 other journals. I lecture widely and am the Editor of the multi-author textbook Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy.