Recurrence after Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy With or Without Axillary Lymph Node Dissection in Patients with Breast Cancer





Background: A regional nodal recurrence is a major concern after a sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) alone in patients with breast cancer. In this study we investigated patterns and risk factors of regional nodal recurrence after SLNB alone.<BR>Patients and Methods: Between January 1999 and March 2005, a series of 1,704 consecutive breast cancer cases in 1,670 patients (34 bilateral breast cancer cases) with clinically negative nodes or suspicious nodes for metastasis who underwent SLNB at a single institute (Saitama Cancer Center) were studied. All 1,704 cases were classified based upon presence or absence of a metastatic lymph node, treated with or without axillary lymph node dissection (ALND). The site of first recurrence was classified as local, regional node, or distant. The regional node recurrences were subclassified as axillary, interpectoral, infraclavicular, supraclavicular, or parasternal.<BR>Results: After a median follow-up period of 34 months (range, 2-83 months), first recurrence occurred in local sites in 32 (1.9%) cases, regional nodes in 26 (1.5%) cases, and distant sites in 61 (3.6%) cases. In 1,062 cases with negative nodes treated without ALND and 459 cases with positive nodes treated with ALND, 11 (1.0%) and 15 (3.3%) recurred in regional nodes, respectively, and 4 (0.4%) and 2 (0.6%) recurred in axillary nodes, respectively. Of 822 cases of invasive breast cancer with negative nodes treated with SLNB alone, 10 (1.4%) recurred in regional nodes, and 4 (0.5%) recurred in axillary nodes. In the 10 patients with regional nodal failure, all of the tumors were negative for estrogen receptor (ER) and/or progesterone receptor (PR) and were nuclear grade (NG) 3.<BR>Conclusions: The axillary recurrence rate was low in patients treated with SLNB alone. Omitting ALND is concluded to be safe after adequate SLNB. Risk factors for regional nodal failure after SLNB alone are negative hormone receptor status and high NG.


  • Breast cancer : the journal of the Japanese Breast Cancer Society

    Breast cancer : the journal of the Japanese Breast Cancer Society 14(1), 16-24, 2007-01-01


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