Training for medical professionals – about SNB

For the management of patients with early-stage cancers

Purchase the online Headstart course

The online headstart course will be available soon through our education resources store. Check back here to purchase.

NICE-endorsed treatment

Our Headstart Course is now available online

SNB has been endorsed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), is fully adopted in Denmark and the Netherlands, and is growing in deployment across Europe and the US.

As knowledge among the public grows about head and neck cancers and patients' rights to opt for Sentinel Node Biopsy treatment, UK surgeons should act now to learn, test and adopt the technique in order to meet that demand.

What we do

At the Head and Neck Cancer Foundation, we provide a training program for medical teams who are keen to offer this pioneering surgical technique to their patients. We provide group and individual training to all members of the treatment and theatre teams.

As we introduce SNB across the UK, we are attempting to do so in such a way as to keep the error rate low across all hospitals adopting the procedure. We will achieve this by working with hospital teams through our extensive program and post-training support.

National training programme - NICE approved and endorsed

Our training is approved by the Royal College of Surgeons and completion of it awards 5 CPD points.

It also complements the National Institute for Health Care and Excellence (NICE) recommendations that SNB is an alternative to elective neck dissection (END) and should be considered for patients with early (stage 1 and 2) mouth cancer.

SNB is an operator-sensitive procedure with the best units reporting false negative rates down to 5-8%. The false negative rate for new adopters ranges from 13%-40%. Only half of these patients can be rescued when the clinically obvious disease appears in the neck.

SNB Training

Maarja Kikas, UCLH NHS Foundation Trust

"As a Head and Neck CNS, it is essential for me that we give our patients the best possible survival chances with minimal interventions. Early detection of migrating cancers cells to the neck is paramount for the best patient outcomes. SNB training day is an excellent opportunity to understand the procedure in-depth and learn the evidence behind it. I am happy to use this knowledge and apply this to my daily practice when educating my patients and discussing treatment options with them. Brilliant day, definitely recommend to all senior nurses."