Predictors for nonsentinel node involvement in breast cancer patients with micrometastases in the sentinel lymph node.

Department of Surgery, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, USA.
Proceedings (Baylor University. Medical Center) 02/2003; 16(1):3-6.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy in breast cancer allows for a more thorough pathologic assessment with serial sectioning and cytokeratin staining. This has resulted in increased detection of micrometastatic disease (tumor size < 2 mm) in the SLN. Unfortunately, the value of completion axillary dissection after finding micrometastatic disease in the SLN remains poorly defined. Over a 2-year period, a prospective database of 305 patients who underwent SLN biopsy for breast cancer at Baylor University Medical Center was reviewed. Eighty-four (27.5%) of the patients had evidence of metastatic disease in the SLN. Twenty-four of the 41 patients identified as having micrometastatic disease in the SLN underwent completion axillary lymph node dissection. In these patients, all nonsentinel nodes were further studied by serial sectioning and immunohistochemistry. The median age of these 24 patients was 52 years (range, 34-83). Their primary tumor stages were T1a and T1b (n = 5), T1c (n = 15), and T2 (n = 4). A total of 328 nonsentinel lymph nodes were examined, including 225 from patients with infiltrating ductal carcinoma (n = 17) and 103 from patients with infiltrating lobular carcinoma (n = 7). In the patients with infiltrating ductal carcinoma, no additional nodal metastases were identified, while in those with infiltrating lobular carcinoma, additional nodal disease was found in 5 lymph nodes (2 of 12 patients, 17%). Primary tumor characteristics were not predictive of additional nodal disease. These data suggest that patients with micro-metastasis in the SLN from infiltrating lobular carcinoma have a significant risk of harboring additional nodal disease and should undergo completion axillary dissection. However, those with micrometastatic disease from infiltrating ductal carcinoma have a very low incidence of additional metastasis and may not need completion axillary dissection.

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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: It has been suggested that selective sentinel node (SN) biopsy alone can be used to manage early breast cancer, but definite evidence to support this notion is lacking. The aim of this study was to investigate whether refraining from completion axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) suffices to produce the same prognostic information and disease control as proceeding with completion ALND in early breast cancer patients showing micrometastasis at SN biopsy. METHODS: This prospective, randomized clinical trial included patients with newly diagnosed early-stage breast cancer (T < 3.5 cm, clinical N0, M0) who underwent surgical excision as primary treatment. All had micrometastatic SN. Patients were randomly assigned to one of the two study arms: complete ALND (control arm) or clinical follow-up (experimental arm). Median follow-up was 5 years, recurrence was assessed, and the primary end point was disease-free survival. RESULTS: From a total sample of 247 patients, 14 withdrew, leaving 112 in the control arm and 121 in the experimental arm. In 15 control subjects (13 %), completion ALND was positive, with a low tumor burden. Four patients experienced disease recurrence: 1 (1 %) of 108 control subjects and 3 (2.5 %) of 119 experimental patients. There were no differences in disease-free survival (p = 0.325) between arms and no cancer-related deaths. CONCLUSIONS: Our results strongly suggest that in early breast cancer patients with SN micrometastasis, selective SN lymphadenectomy suffices to control locoregional and distant disease, with no significant effects on survival.
    Annals of Surgical Oncology 09/2012; · 4.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) has become standard of care as a staging procedure in patients with invasive breast cancer. A positive SLNB allows completion axillary lymph node dissection (cALND) to be performed. The axillary recurrence rate (ARR) after cALND in patients with positive SLNB is low. Recently, several studies have reported a similar low ARR when cALND is not performed. This review aims to determine the ARR when cALND is omitted in SLNB-positive patients. METHODS: A literature search was performed in the PubMed database with the search terms "breast cancer," "sentinel lymph node biopsy," "axillary" and "recurrence." Articles with data regarding follow-up of patients with SLNB-positive breast cancer were identified. To be eligible, patients should not have received cALND and ARR should be reported. RESULTS: Thirty articles were analyzed. This resulted in 7,151 patients with SLNB-positive breast cancer in whom a cALND was omitted (median follow-up of 45 months, range 1-142 months). Overall, 41 patients developed an axillary recurrence. 27 studies described 3,468 patients with micrometastases in the SLNB, of whom 10 (0.3 %) developed an axillary recurrence. ARR varied between 0 and 3.7 %. Sixteen studies described 3,268 patients with macrometastases, 24 (0.7 %) axillary recurrences were seen. ARR varied between 0 and 7.1 %. Details regarding type of surgery and adjuvant treatment were lacking in the majority of studies. CONCLUSIONS: ARR appears to be low in SLNB-positive patients even when a cALND is not performed. Withholding cALND may be safe in breast cancer selected patients such as those with isolated tumor cells or micrometastatic disease.
    Annals of Surgical Oncology 08/2012; · 4.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the long-term disease-free and overall survival of patients with sentinel lymph node (SLN) micrometastases, in whom a completion axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) was systematically omitted. The use of step sectioning and immunohistochemistry for SLN analysis results in a more accurate histopathologic examination and a higher detection rate of micrometastases. However, the clinical relevance and therapeutic implications of SLN micrometastases remain a matter of debate. In this prospective study, 236 SLN biopsies were performed in 234 consecutive early-stage breast cancer patients (T1, T2 ≤ 3 cm, cN0 M0) between 1998 and 2002. The SLN were examined by step sectioning and stained with hematoxylin and eosin and immunohistochemistry. None of the patients with negative SLN or SLN micrometastases (International Union Against Cancer classification, >0.2 to ≤ 2 mm) underwent a completion ALND or radiation to the axilla. Long-term overall and disease-free survivals were compared between patients with negative SLN and those with SLN micrometastases by log rank tests. The SLN was negative in 55% of patients (123 of 224). SLN micrometastases were detected in 27 patients (27 of 224, 12%). After a median followup of 77 months (range, 24-106 months), neither locoregional recurrences nor distant metastases occurred in any of the 27 patients with SLN micrometastases. There were no statistically significant differences for overall (P = 0.656), locoregional (P = 0.174), and axillary and distant disease-free survival (P = 0.15) between patients with negative SLN and SLN micrometastases. This analysis of unselected patients provides evidence that a completion level I and II ALND may be safely omitted in early-stage breast cancer patients with SLN micrometastases.
    Indian journal of surgical oncology. 01/2010; 1(1):59-67.


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