Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 620–626 | Cite as

Sentinel Node and Recurrent Breast Cancer (SNARB): Results of a Nationwide Registration Study

  • Adriana J. G. Maaskant-BraatEmail author
  • Rudi M. H. Roumen
  • Adri C. Voogd
  • Rik Pijpers
  • Ernest J. T. Luiten
  • Emiel J. T. Rutgers
  • Grard A. P. Nieuwenhuijzen
Breast Oncology



Knowledge of regional lymph node involvement is important in patients with recurrent breast cancer for obtaining better locoregional control and predicting prognosis. To determine technical feasibility, validity, aberrant drainage rates, and clinical consequences of performing repeat sentinel node biopsy (SNB) in patients with locally recurrent breast cancer we conducted the “Sentinel Node and Recurrent Breast Cancer (SNARB)” study.


A total of 150 patients with locally recurrent breast cancer underwent lymphatic mapping and SNB. In case of an intact axillary lymph node basin, ipsilateral axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) was performed subsequently.


A total of 41 patients previously underwent breast conserving therapy (BCT) with SNB, 82 patients BCT with ALND, and 21 patients a mastectomy, of which 9 with SNB and 12 with ALND. In 95 patients (63.3 %) a sentinel node was identified and in 78 patients (52 %) the sentinel node was successfully removed. In 18 patients (22.8 %) a (micro)metastasis was found on pathologic examination. Confirmation ALND in 18 patients showed no axillary lymph node metastases. Aberrant drainage pathways were visualized in 58.9 % of the patients, significantly more frequently after a previous ALND (79.3 %) than after a previous SNB (25.0 %) (P < .0001). Overall, the result of this repeat SNB led to a change in the adjuvant treatment plan in 16.5 % of the patients with a successful repeat SNB.


Repeat SNB is technically feasible and provides reliable results in patients with locally recurrent breast cancer, leading to change in management in 1 of 6 patients.


Sentinel Node Sentinel Node Biopsy Axillary Lymph Node Dissection Recurrent Breast Cancer Lymphatic Mapping 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors thank the following clinicians for patient recruitment and providing the study data: Dr. R. F. Schmitz, Dr. J. E. de Vries, Mw. Dr. M. F. Ernst, Dr. F. W. C. van der Ent, Dr. B. van Ooijden, Dr. J. M. Klaase, Dr. J. A. van Essen, Dr. J. W. D. de Waard, Dr. F. C. den Boer, Dr. J. W. S. Merkus, Mw. Dr. M. B. E. Menke-Pluymers, Mw. Dr. C. M. E. Contant, Mw. J. P. J. Burgmans, Dr. H. W. P. M. Kemperman, Dr. B. C. Vrouenraets, Dr. P. H. J. M. Veldman, Dr. M. Smidt, and Dr. S. A. Koopal. The authors thank the Dutch Breast Cancer Trialists’ Group (BOOG) for their support in promoting, coordinating, and facilitating the SNARB study. This study was supported by a grant from the Dutch Cancer Society-KWF (Grant No. 2009-4466) for data registration and management.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Society of Surgical Oncology 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adriana J. G. Maaskant-Braat
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rudi M. H. Roumen
    • 2
  • Adri C. Voogd
    • 3
    • 4
  • Rik Pijpers
    • 5
  • Ernest J. T. Luiten
    • 6
  • Emiel J. T. Rutgers
    • 7
  • Grard A. P. Nieuwenhuijzen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryCatharina HospitalEindhovenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryMáxima Medical CenterVeldhoven/EindhovenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Health Medicine and Life Sciences, Research Institute Growth and Development (GROW)Maastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Eindhoven Cancer RegistryComprehensive Cancer Center SouthEindhovenThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Department of Nuclear MedicineBernard Verbeeten InstituteTilburgThe Netherlands
  6. 6.Department of SurgeryAmphia HospitalBredaThe Netherlands
  7. 7.Department of SurgeryThe Netherlands Cancer Institute and Antoni van Leeuwenhoek HospitalAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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