The prognostic value of sentinel lymph node micrometastases in patients with invasive breast carcinoma.


COD: 01_1187_2451 Categorie: ,

Calogero Cipolla, Giuseppa Graceffa, Roberta La Mendola, Salvatore Fricano, Martina Fricano, Salvatore Vieni.

Ann. Ital. Chir., 2015 86: 497-502

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AIM: The prognostic value of sentinel lymph node micrometastases in invasive breast cancer patients is still widely debated. Even if, in the absence of unequivocal guidelines, the axillary lynphadenectomy is not still performed in the routine clinical care of these patients. METHOD: We have retrospectively analyzed 746 patients with operable invasive breast cancer and clinically negative axillary lymph nodes. These patients underwent conservative surgery or total mastectomy with sentinel lymph node biopsy. Patients with micrometastases in the sentinel lymph node treated with axillary dissection has been checked and the involvement of the remaining lymph nodes analyzed. Patients with micrometastases in the SLN not followed by axillary dissection have been checked as well and the incidence of recurrences has been evaluated in both groups. RESULTS: Micrometastases were found in 51 (6.83%) patients and isolated tumor cells in 8 (1.07%) patients at frozen section and confirmed at the final hystopathologic examination. Fifteen of these patients underwent complete axillary dissection: two of them (13.33%) had metastatic involvement of other axillary lymph nodes. The other 44 patients didn’t receive further surgical axillary procedure. No axillary recurrences in these patients were found during a median follow up of 65.3±9.65 months (range 42-78 months). CONCLUSION: Based on the results and according to some recent randomized trials we can say that axillary lynphadenectomy can be avoided when micrometastases are found in sentinel lynph nodes. It should be performed anyway, depending on the analysis of the biomedical profile of the tumor.


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