Prognostic implications of positive nonsentinel lymph nodes removed during selective sentinel lymphadenectomy for breast cancer.
Nonsentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) are commonly removed at the time of selective sentinel lymphadenectomy (SSL). Their predictive value for the rest of the nodal basin is unknown. A retrospective review of 436 breast cancer patients who underwent SSL between 12/97 and 04/03 at a single institution. One-hundred nineteen patients had non-SLNs removed at SSL; eight were positive (6.7%). Positive non-SLNs predicted that SLNs would also be positive (p = 0.008). There was no difference in rates of additional positive nodes found on completion axillary node dissection between the non-SLN and SLN positive patients (p = 0.62). After adjustment for covariates, the presence of positive non-SLNs was not associated with poorer disease free survival (p = 0.24), time to systemic recurrence (p = 0.57), or overall survival (p = 0.70). Positive non-SLNs removed during SSL are not a significant risk factor for additional positive nodes on completion axillary nodal dissection (CALND) or for worse survival than positive SLNs.
Lang, JE; Liu, L-C; Lu, Y; Jenkins, T; Hwang, SE; Esserman, LJ; Ewing, CA; Alvarado, M; Morita, E; Treseler, P; Leong, SP
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