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Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 168, Issue 2, pp 551–557 | Cite as

Axillary staging for breast cancer during pregnancy: feasibility and safety of sentinel lymph node biopsy

  • S. N. Han
  • F. AmantEmail author
  • E. H. Cardonick
  • S. Loibl
  • F. A. Peccatori
  • O. Gheysens
  • C. A. Sangalli
  • V. Nekljudova
  • K. Dahl Steffensen
  • M. Mhallem Gziri
  • C. P. Schröder
  • C. A. R. Lok
  • A. Verest
  • P. Neven
  • A. Smeets
  • G. Pruneri
  • M. Cremonesi
  • O. Gentilini
  • On behalf of the International Network on Cancer, Infertility and Pregnancy
Brief Report

Abstract

Background

Safety of sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy for breast cancer during pregnancy is insufficiently explored. We investigated efficacy and local recurrence rate in a large series of pregnant patients.

Patients and methods

Women diagnosed with breast cancer who underwent SLN biopsy during pregnancy were identified from the International Network on Cancer, Infertility and Pregnancy, the German Breast Group, and the Cancer and Pregnancy Registry. Chart review was performed to record technique and outcome of SLN biopsy, locoregional and distant recurrence, and survival.

Results

We identified 145 women with clinically N0 disease who underwent SLN during pregnancy. The SLN detection techniques were as follows: 99mTc-labeled albumin nanocolloid only (n = 96; 66.2%), blue dye only (n = 14; 9.7%), combined technique (n = 15; 10.3%), or unknown (n = 20; 13.8%). Mapping was unsuccessful in one patient (0.7%) and she underwent an axillary lymph node dissection (ALND). Mean number of SLNs was 3.2 (interquartile range 1-3; missing n = 15). Positive SLNs were found in 43 (29.7%) patients and 34 subsequently underwent ALND. After a median follow-up of 48 months (range 1–177), 123 (84.8%) patients were alive and free of disease. Eleven patients experienced a locoregional relapse, including 1 isolated ipsilateral axillary recurrence (0.7%). Eleven (7.6%) patients developed distant metastases, of whom 9 (6.2%) died of breast cancer. No neonatal adverse events related to SLN procedure during pregnancy were reported.

Conclusions

SLN biopsy during pregnancy has a comparably low axillary recurrence rate as in nonpregnant women. Therefore, this method can be considered during pregnancy instead of standard ALND for early-stage, clinically node-negative breast cancer.

Keywords

Breast cancer Pregnancy Sentinel lymph node Lymphoscintigraphy 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by Research Foundation-Flanders (Project G0358.06), Stichting tegen Kanker, and Belgian Cancer Plan (Ministry of Health).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. N. Han
    • 1
    • 13
  • F. Amant
    • 1
    • 9
    • 13
    Email author
  • E. H. Cardonick
    • 2
    • 13
  • S. Loibl
    • 3
    • 13
  • F. A. Peccatori
    • 4
    • 13
  • O. Gheysens
    • 5
    • 13
  • C. A. Sangalli
    • 3
    • 13
  • V. Nekljudova
    • 3
    • 13
  • K. Dahl Steffensen
    • 6
    • 13
  • M. Mhallem Gziri
    • 7
    • 13
  • C. P. Schröder
    • 8
    • 13
  • C. A. R. Lok
    • 9
    • 13
  • A. Verest
    • 1
    • 13
  • P. Neven
    • 1
    • 13
  • A. Smeets
    • 1
    • 13
  • G. Pruneri
    • 10
    • 13
  • M. Cremonesi
    • 11
    • 13
  • O. Gentilini
    • 12
    • 13
  • On behalf of the International Network on Cancer, Infertility and Pregnancy
  1. 1.Department of Oncology, Multidisciplinary Breast CentreUniversity Hospitals Leuven, KU LeuvenLouvainBelgium
  2. 2.Division of Maternal–Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyCooper Medical School at Rowan UniversityCamdenUSA
  3. 3.German Breast GroupNeu-IsenburgGermany
  4. 4.Gynecologic Oncology Division, Fertility and Procreation UnitEuropean Institute of OncologyMilanItaly
  5. 5.Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Department of Imaging and PathologyUniversity Hospitals Leuven, KU LeuvenLouvainBelgium
  6. 6.Department of Clinical OncologyVejle HospitalVejleDenmark
  7. 7.Department of ObstetricsCliniques Universitaires St. LucBrusselsBelgium
  8. 8.Department of Medical OncologyUniversity of Groningen, University Medical Center GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  9. 9.Department of Gynecologic Oncology, Center for Gynecologic Oncology AmsterdamAntoni van Leeuwenhoek-Netherlands Cancer InstituteAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  10. 10.Department of Pathology, Biobank for Translational Medicine UnitEuropean Institute of OncologyMilanItaly
  11. 11.Radiation Research UnitEuropean Institute of OncologyMilanItaly
  12. 12.Division of Breast SurgeryEuropean Institute of OncologyMilanItaly
  13. 13.Breast UnitSan Raffaele Scientific and Research HospitalMilanItaly

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