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Minerva Chirurgica 2020 Sep 25

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4733.20.08481-3


language: English

Sentinel node biopsy in conservative surgery for breast cancer: a changing role in clinical practice

Francesca MAGNONI 1 , Paolo VERONESI 1, 2

1 Division of Breast Cancer Surgery, IEO, European Institute of Oncology, IRCCS, Milan, Italy; 2 Faculty of Medicine, University of Milan, Milan, Italy


Recent studies have demonstrated that the extent of surgical treatment in both breast and axilla can be minimized through a multimodal and personalized management, based on assessment of breast cancer (BC) molecular subtypes, genetics and on the prevailing relevance of systemic therapies. Axillary lymph-nodes dissection (ALND) represents the older surgical modality for appropriate staging and for adjuvant systemic and radiation therapies planning. Thanks to findings from extensive and crucial clinical trials, sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) replaced this approach, obviating the need for ALND in nodenegative disease patients, both in mastectomy and conservative surgery, and becoming a crucial turning point in BC managing. Furthermore, recent clinical trials have established that ALND can be avoided in those patients with low axillary disease burden in the sentinel nodes who are undergoing breast-conserving surgery (BCS) with radiotherapy. Several studies also proved that neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) increases the BCS rates, as well reducing the extent of axillary surgery. The potential oncological safety of axillary observation choice in early BC patients undergoing BCS, in the recent perspective of the prevailing value of BC biology, is also under scientific evaluation. This study explores the current role of SLNB in BC patients eligible for BCS, providing a view into future directions in BC care.

KEY WORDS: Sentinel node biopsy; Breast cancer; Breast-conserving surgery; Axillary dissection; ACOSOG Z0011

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