Purpose. Repeat sentinel node biopsy (SNB) is an alternative to axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) for axillary staging in recurrent breast cancer. This study was conducted to determine factors associated with technical success of repeat SNB.
Methods. A total of 536 patients with locally recurrent nonmetastatic breast cancer underwent lymphatic mapping (LM) and repeat SNB in 29 Dutch hospitals.
Results. A total of 179 patients previously underwent breast-conserving surgery (BCS) with SNB, 262 patients BCS with ALND and 61 patients mastectomy, 35 with SNB and 26 with ALND. Another 34 patients underwent breast surgery without axillary interventions. A repeat sentinel node (SN) was identified in 333 patients (62.1 %) and was successfully removed in 235 (53.5 %). The overall repeat SN identification rate was 62.1 %, varying from 35 to 100 % in the participating hospitals. Previous radiotherapy of the breast [odds ratio (OR) 0.16; 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.03-0.84], subareolar tracer injection (OR 0.34; 95 % CI 0.16-0.73), and a 2-day LM protocol (OR 0.57; 95 % CI 0.33-0.97) after previous BCS were independently associated with failure of SN identification. Injection of a larger amount of tracer (>180 MBq) led to a higher identification rate (OR 4.40; 95 % CI 1.45-13.32).
Conclusions. Repeat SNB is a technically feasible procedure for axillary staging in recurrent breast cancer patients. Previous radiotherapy appears to be associated with failure of SN identification. Injection with a larger amount of tracer (>180 MBq) leads to a higher identification rate; subareolar injection and a 2-day LM protocol after previous BCS appear to be less adequate.
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- TUMOR RECURRENCE