Clinical relevance of sentinel lymph nodes in the internal mammary chain in breast cancer patients.
ABSTRACT Despite the widespread use of sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy in breast cancer patients, some controversy exists about the correct management of extra-axillary nodes, especially those located in the internal mammary chain. The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence of SLNs in this region, calculate the lymphoscintigraphic and surgical detection rates and evaluate the clinical impact on staging and therapeutic decisions.
The study involved 383 consecutive women diagnosed with early breast cancer with T1 or T2 tumours. Eight patients had a bilateral tumour, which brought the total to 391 lesions. Lymphoscintigraphy was performed on the day before surgery by injection of (99m)Tc-labelled nanocolloid. The injection site was subdermal (68 patients), peritumoural (107 patients) or intratumoural (216 patients). During surgery a gamma probe was used to guide the surgeon and the SLNs were removed. SLNs were analysed by a conventional pathological study and processed for H&E examination and immunohistochemistry.
Lymphoscintigraphy detected at least one SLN in 369 out of the 391 procedures (94.4%). SLNs were found in the axillary chain in 367 cases and in the internal mammary chain in 55. In two of these 55 cases (3.6%), the SLN was the only one detected. There was no drainage to the internal mammary chain in any case of subdermal injection but such drainage was found in 15.9% of cases with peritumoural injection and 17.6% of those with intratumoural injection. Compared with tumours located in the outer quadrants, a higher percentage of tumours located in the inner quadrants showed drainage to the internal mammary chain (p<0.001). A total of 42 SLNs in the internal mammary chain could be removed in 32 patients without appreciable morbidity. In 20 cases both axillary and internal mammary SLNs were negative, in four both were positive, and in five axillary SLNs were positive and internal mammary SLNs were negative. More interestingly, in the remaining patient with both axillary and internal mammary SLNs, the axillary SLN was negative while malignant cells were found in the internal mammary region. In the evaluation of the clinical impact of internal mammary SLN biopsy, we found that staging was modified from pN1a to pN1c in four patients and, more importantly, from pN0 to pN0(i+) in one patient. The change in stage led to a modification of the postoperative treatment plan with respect to radiotherapy and systemic therapy.
Evaluation of the SLNs in the internal mammary chain provides more accurate staging of breast cancer patients. If internal mammary sampling is not performed, patients can be understaged. This technique can offer a better indication of those patients who will benefit from selective treatment options like radiotherapy to this region or systemic therapy.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Accurate assessment of the internal mammary (IM) nodal basin can impact prognosis and treatment in breast cancer. The goal of this study was to identify characteristics associated with positive IM sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) and the impact on adjuvant treatment. Clinically node-negative breast cancer patients who underwent SLN dissection including removal of IM SLNs were identified and medical records were reviewed. Statistical analysis was performed using Fisher's exact test and rank-sum tests with a significance level of 0.05. IM SLNs were removed in 71 patients, 60 (85 %) had negative IM SLNs, whereas 11 (15 %) had positive IM SLNs. Clinicopathologic characteristics were similar between the groups. The majority of patients in both groups had axillary SLNs removed (95 % in the node-negative group vs. 91 % in the node-positive group). Four patients (36 %) with positive IM SLNs had axillary metastasis; thus, IM nodal metastases were the only nodal metastases in 64 % of patients with positive IM SLNs. The identification of IM metastases altered adjuvant therapy in 5 (45 %) patients with positive IM SLNs. Patients with positive IM SLNs have clinicopathologic features similar to those of patients with negative IM SLNs limiting the ability to predict IM nodal metastasis preoperatively. The identification of IM nodal metastases significantly impacts treatment decisions, especially when IM nodes are the only site of nodal metastasis. Removal of IM SLNs should be considered when lymphoscintigraphy reveals IM drainage.Annals of Surgical Oncology 09/2013; · 4.12 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The accurate harvesting of a sentinel node in breast cancer includes a sequence of procedures with components from different medical specialities, including nuclear medicine, radiology, surgical oncology and pathology. The aim of this document is to provide general information about sentinel lymph node detection in breast cancer patients. The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) and the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM) have written and approved these guidelines to promote the use of nuclear medicine procedures with high quality. The final result has been discussed by distinguished experts from the EANM Oncology Committee, the SNMMI and the European Society of Surgical Oncology (ESSO). The present guidelines for nuclear medicine practitioners offer assistance in optimizing the diagnostic information from the SLN procedure. These guidelines describe protocols currently used routinely, but do not include all existing procedures. They should therefore not be taken as exclusive of other nuclear medicine modalities that can be used to obtain comparable results. It is important to remember that the resources and facilities available for patient care may vary.European Journal of Nuclear Medicine 10/2013; · 4.53 Impact Factor
Article: Main controversies in breast cancer.[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In this article, we have reviewed available evidence for diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up in female breast cancer (BC). Into daily clinical practice some controversies are occurred. Especially, in the diagnosis field, despite the fact that the optimal age in which screening mammography should start is a subject of intense controversy, there is a shift toward the beginning at the age of 40 although it is suggested that the net benefit is small for women aged 40 to 49 years. In addition, a promising tool in BC screening seems to be breast tomosynthesis. Other tools such as 3D ultrasound and shear wave elastography (SWE) are full of optimism in BC screening although ultrasonography is not yet a first-line screening method and there is insufficient evidence to recommend the systemic use of the SWE for BC screening. As for breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), even if it is useful in BC detection in women who have a strong family history of BC, it is not generally recommended as a screening tool. Moreover, based on the lack of randomized clinical trials showing a benefit of presurgical breast MRI in overall survival, it's integration into breast surgical operations remains debatable. Interestingly, in contrast to fine needle aspiration, core biopsy has gained popularity in presurgical diagnosis. Furthermore, after conservative surgery in patients with positive sentinel lymph nodes, the recent tendency is the shift from axillary dissection to axillary conserving strategies. While the accuracy of sentinel lymph node after neoadjuvant chemotherapy and second BC surgery remains controversial, more time is needed for evaluation and for determining the optimal interval between the two surgeries. Additionally, in the decision between immediate or delayed breast reconstruction, there is a tendency in the immediate use. In the prevention of BC, the controversial issue between tamoxifen and raloxifene becomes clear with raloxifene be more profitable through the toxicities of tamoxifen. However, the prevention of bone metastasis with bisphosphonates is still conflicting. Last but not least, in the follow-up of BC survivors, mammography, history and physical examination are the means of an early detection of BC recurrence. ed.World journal of clinical oncology. 08/2014; 5(3):359-373.