Analysis of sentinel nodes biopsy in breast cancer: 12 years after introduction into clinical practice
Introduction. Sentinel node biopsy in breast cancer has been a standard procedure at the Institute for Oncology of Vojvodina since 1999 and we have done more than 700 biopsy. Before the introduction of axillary sentinel lymph node biopsy, lymph nodes were routinely dissected, and this approach was the gold standard in surgical treatment of breast cancer. The study was aimed at presenting our results in performing sentinel node biopsy in clinical practice for operative treatment in breast
... Material and Methods. All patients (n=791) were women with clinically T1-2, N0-1, M0 breast cancer. Sentinel lymph node marking was performed by both contrast blue dye (Patentblau V) and radiotracer (antimony sulfide marked with Tc99m). Both contrast media were applied peritumorally or periareolarly. After sentinel lymph node biopsy all patients underwent breast-conserving surgery or mastectomy with or without lymph node dissection of level I and II (depending on sentinel lymph node status). Results. Sentinel lymph node biopsy was negative in 543 (68.7%) patients, and positive in 248 (31.3%) patients. Solitary tumor was present in 722 (91.2%) cases, multifocal tumors in 36 (4.57%), multicentric in 28 (3.55%) and bilateral in 5 (0.68%) patients. The mean duration of follow-up was 60.59 months (median 65, range 12-132). Distant metastases were mostly found in bones (39.13%). Conclusion. The number of complications related to axillary dissection can be reduced and the patient's quality of life can be improved by avoiding complete axillary lymph node dissection.