[MOL] Sentinel Node Exam Predicts Axillary Node Status in Beast Cancer P [01338] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] Sentinel Node Exam Predicts Axillary Node Status in Beast Cancer Patients

Intraoperative Sentinel Node Exam Predicts Axillary Node Status in Breast Cancer Patients

WESTPORT, Jun 14 (Reuters Health) - The axillary lymph node status of breast cancer patients can be accurately predicted by intraoperative examination of axillary sentinel nodes, Italian researchers report in the June 1st issue of Cancer.

"The main advantage of the intraoperative examination of sentinel lymph nodes is that it allows the surgical treatment of breast carcinoma patients in a single session," Dr. Giuseppe Viale, of Milan School of Medicine, and a group of Milan-based researchers write.

In their study, the researchers removed the sentinel axillary sentinel lymph nodes from 155 consecutive patients with "...clinically lymph node negative breast carcinoma..." at the beginning of breast surgery and sent them for frozen-section examination while surgery was ongoing. Complete axillary node dissection was also performed after surgery, and the findings compared.

Metastases were detected in the sentinel lymph nodes in 70 of the women, and the sentinel nodes were the only axillary nodes with metastases in 37 cases, the Italian researchers report.

They found that "[t]he general concordance between sentinel and axillary lymph node status was 96.7% [and] the negative predictive value of intraoperative sentinel lymph node examination was 94.1%."

Based on these and other findings, the group concludes that "...this procedure, on validation by randomized clinical trials, can be applied intraoperatively when deciding whether to clear the axilla surgically....In the case of metastatic sentinel lymph nodes, the surgeon can clear the axilla after the completion of the surgical procedure."

Cancer 1999;85:2433-2438.

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