Original Articles

Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 243-247

First online:

Analysis of sentinel lymph node mapping with immediate pathologic review in patients receiving preoperative chemotherapy for breast carcinoma

  • Alexander R. MillerAffiliated withDivision of Surgery, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Email author 
  • , Virginia E. ThomasonAffiliated withDivision of Surgery, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  • , I-Tien YehAffiliated withDivision of Pathology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  • , Amin AlrahwanAffiliated withDivision of Pathology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  • , Francis E. SharkeyAffiliated withDivision of Pathology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  • , Jay StaufferAffiliated withDivision of Surgery, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  • , Pamela M. OttoAffiliated withDivision of Radiology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  • , Claire McKayAffiliated withDivision of Radiology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  • , Morton S. KahlenbergAffiliated withDivision of Surgery, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
    • , William T. PhillipsAffiliated withDivision of Radiology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
    • , Anatolio B. CruzJrAffiliated withDivision of Surgery, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

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Abstract

Background

Sentinel lymph node mapping (SLNM) and neoadjuvant chemotherapy are becoming established components of therapy for selected patients with breast carcinoma. However, neoadjuvant therapy has been considered a relative contraindication to SLNM. In an effort to learn whether patients who have received preoperative chemotherapy can undergo accurate SLNM, we evaluated our experience with this technique.

Methods

From January 1997 to June 2000, SLNM and axillary lymph node dissection were concurrently performed in 35 patients who received preoperative chemotherapy. Mapping was performed with99mTc sulfur colloid only in one patient and Lymphazurin dye only in 15 patients, and the two methods were combined in the remainder.

Results

SLNM successfully identified a sentinel lymph node in 30 (86%) patients. Metastatic disease was identified in the sentinel lymph nodes of four patients during surgery. The intraoperative pathologic diagnosis proved to be correct in 19 (79%) of 24 patients. The final pathologic diagnosis of the sentinel lymph node reflected the status of the axillary contents in all patients in whom it was identified.

Conclusions

These results demonstrate that SLNM can be consistently performed in patients receiving preoperative chemotherapy for breast cancer, suggesting the utility of this technique in this patient populations.

Key Words

Breast cancer Sentinel lymph node mapping Neoadjuvant chemotherapy Axillary lymph node dissection