Clinical relevance of sentinel lymph nodes in the internal mammary chain in breast cancer patients

ArticleinEuropean journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging 32(11):1283-7 · December 2005with33 Reads
DOI: 10.1007/s00259-005-1867-z · Source: PubMed
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.
    • "In some studies, IMNs have been detected in about one-third of patients with breast cancer, of which about 63–92 % could be harvested during surgery . Of the harvested IMNs, 11–27 % had metastases138139140. There is no doubt that metastasis in the IMNs significantly worsens prognosis in breast cancer, and predictive models suggest that it is under-treatment of such metastases that is the cause of the poorer prognosis in medial quadrant tumours versus lateral quadrant tumours [141] . "
    [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.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013
    • "Due to the relative complexity of the TUMIR technique, careful evaluation of the learning curves is probably required. The extensive experience in SLN detection in our institution for other gynecological malignancies such as the breast [37,38], vulva [39] and uterine cervix [38,40] did not make evaluation of the number of cases required to achieve an adequate technical skill necessary. Thus, the TUMIR method fulfills most of the expected goals for SLN techniques in patients with EC. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: The objective of this prospective study was to determine the feasibility, safety and performance of a new method for sentinel lymph node (SLN) detection in endometrial cancer (EC) using transvaginal ultrasound-guided myometrial injection of radiotracer (TUMIR). Methods: From 2006 to 2011, 74 patients with high-risk EC were included in the study. Twenty-four hours before surgery 148MBq of (99m)Tc-nanocolloid (8mL) was injected into two spots in the anterior and posterior myometrium using an ultrasound-guided transvaginal puncture. SLN was localized preoperatively by lymphoscintigraphy and intraoperatively with gamma probe. After SLN biopsy the patients underwent a complete laparoscopic pelvic and paraaortic lymphadenectomy. Results: The TUMIR method was successfully achieved in 67/74 patients (90.5%). SLN was identified in 55 women (74.3%). No adverse effects were observed. Pelvic drainage was observed in 87.2% of women and paraaortic SLN was identified in 45.4%, with 12.8% of the patients draining only in this area. The mean number of SLN retrieved was 2.8 per patient (range 1 to 9). Metastatic disease was found in 13 (23.6%) patients. Metastatic involvement of the paraaortic lymph nodes was observed in 4 (30.7%) cases. All were identified by TUMIR. The sensitivity and negative predictive value of SLN detected by TUMIR to detect metastasis were 92.3% (95% CI 22.9-100) and 97.7% (95% CI 82.0-100), respectively. Conclusions: TUMIR is a safe, feasible method to detect SLN in patients with EC, has a good detection rate and provides representative information of the lymphatic drainage of EC.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012
    • "However, the significance of internal mammary sentinel node biopsy is under debate. There is evidence that mapping it leads to stage migration and modification of treatment planning with respect to radiotherapy and systemic therapy, but more evidence is necessary to support that it will improve the outcome of treatment and survival [11] [12]. A second sentinel node biopsy may be performed in patients with a local recurrence after breast conservation and negative axillary sentinel node biopsy. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Axillary node status is a major prognostic factor in early-stage disease. Traditional staging needs levels I and II axillary lymph node dissection. Axillary involvement is found in 10%-30% of patients with T1 (<2 cm) tumours. Sentinel lymph node biopsy is a minimal invasive method of checking the potential nodal involvement. It is based on the assumption of an orderly progression of lymph node invasion by metastatic cells from tumour site. Thus, when sentinel node is free of metastases the remaining nodes are free, too (with a false negative rate lesser than 5%). Moreover, Randomized trials demonstrated a marked reduction of complications associated with the sentinel lymph node biopsy when compared with axillary lymph node dissection. Currently, the sentinel node biopsy procedure is recognized as the standard treatment for stages I and II. In these stages, this approach has a positive node rate similar to those observed after lymphadenectomy, a significant decrease in morbidity and similar nodal relapse rates at 5 years. In this review, the indications and contraindications of the sentinel node biopsy are summarized and the methodological aspects discussed. Finally, the new technologic and histologic developments allow to develop a more accurate and refinate technique that can achieve virtually the identification of 100% of sentinel nodes and reduce the false negative rate.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2012
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