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Sentinel lymph node analysis in breast cancer: contribution of one-step nucleic acid amplification (OSNA)


One-step nucleic acid amplification (OSNA, Sysmex, Kobe, Japan) offers an excellent opportunity for accurate exhaustive sentinel lymph node (SLN) examination in breast cancer patients. Calibrated with conventional postoperative histology, this molecular technique yields comparable results intraoperatively, expressed as micrometastasis, macrometastasis or no metastasis depending on the CK19 mRNA copy number amplified in SLN lysates. We applied OSNA to detect metastasis in 810 SLNs from 367 patients with early stage breast cancer. We compared the rate of OSNA-positive SLNs in patients with invasive breast cancer (< 2 cm) versus the rate observed in a historical cohort using conventional histological examination of SLNs. No significant difference was observed, the OSNA assay was positive in 24.4% of patients, compared with positive histology in 24.8% in the historical cohort if including patients with isolated tumour cell (ITC) and in 23.4% excluding them. Opportunities for optimised patient management using OSNA are discussed: intraoperative detection of OSNA-positive SLNs enables axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) during the same procedure; standard OSNA techniques enable the establishment of homogeneous groups based on examination of whole SLNs for valid comparisons between different centres.

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We thank Michelle Marty, Gwénaelle Duval, Stéphane Moiteaux for their technical assistance, and Odile Audrain for rewieving the literature. G. Pope has post-edited the English style.

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Correspondence to Florence Godey.

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Godey, F., Leveque, J., Tas, P. et al. Sentinel lymph node analysis in breast cancer: contribution of one-step nucleic acid amplification (OSNA). Breast Cancer Res Treat 131, 509–516 (2012).

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  • Breast cancer
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy
  • Molecular analysis
  • Axillary lymph node dissection