The Role of Selective Lymphadenectomy in Breast Cancer.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Cancer control : journal of the Moffitt Cancer Center, Volume 4, Issue 3, p.211-219 (1997)


BACKGROUND: Axillary node dissection is considered a standard staging procedure in patients with breast cancer. The procedure is associated with significant morbidity and provides pathologists with many lymph nodes to evaluate. METHODS: A total of 174 women participated in a trial that included preoperative lymphoscintigraphy and intraoperative lymphatic mapping using a combination of a vital blue dye and radiocolloid mapping. RESULTS: The intraoperative lymphatic mapping correctly identified a sentinel lymph node (SLN) in 160 (92%) of 174 patients. One skip metastasis (0.7%) occurred in 136 women who had a subsequent complete node dissection. CONCLUSIONS: Lymphatic mapping and SLN biopsy using a combination of mapping techniques provide accurate nodal staging for women with breast cancer. With this technique, approximately 70% to 80% of women with no axillary metastases could be spared the morbidity of a complete node dissection.