Omission of axillary lymph node dissection for breast cancer patients with three or more positive sentinel lymph nodes

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Abstract

Purpose: The ACOSOG Z0011 (Z11) trial assessed the benefit of axillary dissection (ALND) for breast cancer patients with sentinel lymph node (SLN) metastases; however, Z11 excluded patients with ≥ 3 positive SLNs. We analyzed trends in ALND omission in patients with ≥ 3 positive SLNs. Methods: Women with ≥ 3 positive SLNs who underwent breast-conserving surgery (BCS) or mastectomy between 2018 and 2020 in the National Cancer Database were included using SLN codes initiated in 2018. Patients with stage IV disease, recurrent breast cancer, and who underwent neoadjuvant chemotherapy were excluded. A multivariable logistic regression model was utilized to determine the proportion who received ALND and factors associated with ALND omission. A subgroup analysis was performed among patients who met the remainder of the Z11 inclusion criteria (BCS, T1/T2 breast cancer). Results: We identified 3654 patients with ≥ 3 positive SLNs. ALND was omitted in 37% of patients, and omission significantly increased from 2018 to 2020 (29% vs. 41%, p < 0.0001). Older age, lower grade tumors, no radiation, non-academic facility, BCS, more SLNs examined and fewer positive SLNs were significantly associated with ALND omission. 942 patients with ≥ 3 positive SLNs met the remainder of the Z11 inclusion criteria. ALND was omitted in 49% of these patients, and omission increased from 2018 to 2020 (44% vs. 49%, p = 0.22). Conclusion: Approximately one-third of patients with ≥ 3 positive SLNs do not undergo ALND; omission of ALND increased from 2018 to 2020. Studies assessing oncologic outcomes of patients with ≥ 3 positive SLNs who do and do not receive ALND are required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-133
Number of pages7
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Volume205
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2024.

Keywords

  • Axillary lymph node dissection
  • Sentinel lymph node
  • Trends in omission
  • Z0011 trial

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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