(1/1709) Sentinel lymph node biopsy and axillary dissection in breast cancer: results in a large series.

BACKGROUND: Axillary lymph node dissection is an established component of the surgical treatment of breast cancer, and is an important procedure in cancer staging; however, it is associated with unpleasant side effects. We have investigated a radioactive tracer-guided procedure that facilitates identification, removal, and pathologic examination of the sentinel lymph node (i.e., the lymph node first receiving lymphatic fluid from the area of the breast containing the tumor) to predict the status of the axilla and to assess the safety of foregoing axillary dissection if the sentinel lymph node shows no involvement. METHODS: We injected 5-10 MBq of 99mTc-labeled colloidal particles of human albumin peritumorally in 376 consecutive patients with breast cancer who were enrolled at the European Institute of Oncology during the period from March 1996 through March 1998. The sentinel lymph node in each case was visualized by lymphoscintigraphy, and its general location was marked on the overlying skin. During breast surgery, the sentinel lymph node was identified for removal by monitoring the acoustic signal from a hand-held gamma ray-detecting probe. Total axillary dissection was then carried out. The pathologic status of the sentinel lymph node was compared with that of the whole axilla. RESULTS: The sentinel lymph node was identified in 371 (98.7%) of the 376 patients and accurately predicted the state of the axilla in 359 (95.5%) of the patients, with 12 false-negative findings (6.7%; 95% confidence interval = 3.5%-11.4%) among a total of 180 patients with positive axillary lymph nodes. CONCLUSIONS: Sentinel lymph node biopsy using a gamma ray-detecting probe allows staging of the axilla with high accuracy in patients with primary breast cancer. A randomized trial is necessary to determine whether axillary dissection may be avoided in those patients with an uninvolved sentinel lymph node.  (+info)

(2/1709) Multi-institutional melanoma lymphatic mapping experience: the prognostic value of sentinel lymph node status in 612 stage I or II melanoma patients.

PURPOSE: To compare the effect of pathologic sentinel lymph node (SLN) status with that of other known prognostic factors on recurrence and survival in patients with stage I or II cutaneous melanoma. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We reviewed the records of 612 patients with primary cutaneous melanoma who underwent lymphatic mapping and SLN biopsy between January 1991 and May 1995 to determine the effects of tumor thickness, ulceration, Clark level, location, sex, and SLN pathologic status on disease-free and disease-specific survival. RESULTS: In the 580 patients in whom lymphatic mapping and SLN biopsy were successful, the SLN was positive by conventional histology in 85 patients (15%) but negative in 495 patients (85%). SLN status was the most significant prognostic factor with respect to disease-free and disease-specific survival by univariate and multiple covariate analyses. Although tumor thickness and ulceration influenced survival in SLN-negative patients, they provided no additional prognostic information in SLN-positive patients. CONCLUSION: Lymphatic mapping and SLN biopsy is highly accurate in staging nodal basins at risk for regional metastases in primary melanoma patients and identifies those who may benefit from earlier lymphadenectomy. Furthermore, pathologic status of the SLN in these patients with clinically negative nodes is the most important prognostic factor for recurrence. The information from SLN biopsy is particularly helpful in establishing stratification criteria for future adjuvant trials.  (+info)

(3/1709) Initial experience with sentinel node biopsy in breast cancer at the National Cancer Center Hospital East.

BACKGROUND: Axillary lymph node dissection is an important procedure in the surgical treatment of breast cancer. Axillary lymph node dissection is still performed in over half of breast cancer patients having histologically negative nodes, regardless of the morbidity in terms of axillary pain, numbness and lymphedema. The first regional lymph nodes draining a primary tumor are the sentinel lymph nodes. Sentinel node biopsy is a promising surgical technique for predicting histological findings in the remaining axillary lymph nodes, especially in patients with clinically node-negative breast cancer, and a worldwide feasibility study is currently in progress. METHODS: Intraoperative lymphatic mapping and sentinel node biopsy were performed in the axilla by subcutaneous injection of blue dye (indigocarmine) in 88 cases of stage 0-IIIB breast cancer. Sentinel lymph nodes were identified by detecting blue-staining lymph nodes or dye-filled lymphatic tracts after total or partial mastectomy. Finally, axillary lymph node dissection was performed up to Levels I and II or more. RESULTS: Sentinel lymph nodes were successfully identified in 65 of the 88 cases (74%). In the final histological examination, the sentinel lymph nodes in 40 cases were negative, including four cases with non-sentinel-node-positive breast cancer (specificity, 100%; sensitivity, 86%). In nine (31%) of the 29 cases with histologically node-positive breast cancer, the sentinel lymph nodes were the only lymph nodes affected. Axillary lymph node status was accurately predicted in 61 (94%) of the 65 cases. CONCLUSIONS: Although it was the initial experience at the National Cancer Center Hospital East, sentinel node biopsy proved feasible and successful. This method may be a reasonable alternative to the standard axillary lymph node dissection in patients with early breast cancer.  (+info)

(4/1709) Extended lymph-node dissection for gastric cancer.

BACKGROUND: Curative resection is the treatment of choice for gastric cancer, but it is unclear whether this operation should include an extended (D2) lymph-node dissection, as recommended by the Japanese medical community, or a limited (D1) dissection. We conducted a randomized trial in 80 Dutch hospitals in which we compared D1 with D2 lymph-node dissection for gastric cancer in terms of morbidity, postoperative mortality, long-term survival, and cumulative risk of relapse after surgery. METHODS: Between August 1989 and July 1993, a total of 996 patients entered the study. Of these patients, 711 (380 in the D1 group and 331 in the D2 group) underwent the randomly assigned treatment with curative intent, and 285 received palliative treatment. The procedures for quality control included instruction and supervision in the operating room and monitoring of the pathological results. RESULTS: Patients in the D2 group had a significantly higher rate of complications than did those in the D1 group (43 percent vs. 25 percent, P<0.001), more postoperative deaths (10 percent vs. 4 percent, P= 0.004), and longer hospital stays (median, 16 vs. 14 days; P<0.001). Five-year survival rates were similar in the two groups: 45 percent for the D1 group and 47 percent for the D2 group (95 percent confidence interval for the difference, -9.6 percent to +5.6 percent). The patients who had R0 resections (i.e., who had no microscopical evidence of remaining disease), excluding those who died postoperatively, had cumulative risks of relapse at five years of 43 percent with D1 dissection and 37 percent with D2 dissection (95 percent confidence interval for the difference, -2.4 percent to +14.4 percent). CONCLUSIONS: Our results in Dutch patients do not support the routine use of D2 lymph-node dissection in patients with gastric cancer.  (+info)

(5/1709) Number and anatomical extent of lymph node metastases in gastric cancer: analysis using intra-lymph node injection of activated carbon particles (CH40).

BACKGROUND: The long-term survival of 200 patients with gastric cancer who underwent radical gastrectomy was analyzed with respect to the number and anatomical extent of lymph node metastasis. All of the patients received intra-lymph node injection of fine activated carbon particle solution (CH40) during surgery. METHODS: The average number of resected lymph nodes increased in line with the anatomical level of lymph node dissection; 32.5 per patient in D1, 42.3 in D2, 3 and 66.3 in D4. The percentage of blackened lymph nodes without metastasis (42.4%) was slightly higher than that of lymph nodes containing metastasis (37.2%), but the difference was not statistically significant. Of the 200 patients, 61 (30.5%) had microscopic evidence of metastatic lymph node involvement. Twenty-two patients had between one and three metastatic lymph nodes, 19 had between four and nine and 20 patients had more than nine. The 5-year survival rate was 93.1% in patients without lymph node metastasis, 71.9% in patients with 1-8 metastatic nodes, 36.1% in patients with 4-9 nodes and 19.2% in patients with > 9 nodes. RESULTS: The 5-year survival rate according to the anatomical extent of metastatic lymph nodes was 93.1% in n0, 63.1% in n1, 37.9% in n2, 27.8% in n3 and 0% in n4. The number of metastatic lymph nodes and also their anatomical extent were identified as independent prognostic factors for survival by multivariate analysis. CONCLUSION: The number and anatomical extent of metastatic lymph nodes have similar impacts on prognosis in gastric cancer.  (+info)

(6/1709) Patient survival after D1 and D2 resections for gastric cancer: long-term results of the MRC randomized surgical trial. Surgical Co-operative Group.

Controversy still exists on the optimal surgical resection for potentially curable gastric cancer. Much better long-term survival has been reported in retrospective/non-randomized studies with D2 resections that involve a radical extended regional lymphadenectomy than with the standard D1 resections. In this paper we report the long-term survival of patients entered into a randomized study, with follow-up to death or 3 years in 96% of patients and a median follow-up of 6.5 years. In this prospective trial D1 resection (removal of regional perigastric nodes) was compared with D2 resection (extended lymphadenectomy to include level 1 and 2 regional nodes). Central randomization followed a staging laparotomy. Out of 737 patients with histologically proven gastric adenocarcinoma registered, 337 patients were ineligible by staging laparotomy because of advanced disease and 400 were randomized. The 5-year survival rates were 35% for D1 resection and 33% for D2 resection (difference -2%, 95% CI = -12%-8%). There was no difference in the overall 5-year survival between the two arms (HR = 1.10, 95% CI 0.87-1.39, where HR > 1 implies a survival benefit to D1 surgery). Survival based on death from gastric cancer as the event was similar in the D1 and D2 groups (HR = 1.05, 95% CI 0.79-1.39) as was recurrence-free survival (HR = 1.03, 95% CI 0.82-1.29). In a multivariate analysis, clinical stages II and III, old age, male sex and removal of spleen and pancreas were independently associated with poor survival. These findings indicate that the classical Japanese D2 resection offers no survival advantage over D1 surgery. However, the possibility that D2 resection without pancreatico-splenectomy may be better than standard D1 resection cannot be dismissed by the results of this trial.  (+info)

(7/1709) How to improve low lymph node recovery rates from axillary clearance specimens of breast cancer. A short-term audit.

AIM: To implement an audit scheme to increase the lymph node yield from axillary clearance specimens. METHODS: Two pathologists cut up each specimen after weighing it. The number of nodes and the dimensions of the largest and smallest nodes were recorded, together with the number of non-lymph node structures recovered. Fifty consecutive audited cases were compared with 50 consecutive cases assessed before the audit process. RESULTS: It proved possible to increase the median number of lymph nodes from 10 to 22. There was an obvious learning period, during which the number of nodes recovered during the second pathologist's cut-up gradually decreased, while the total number remained relatively constant. The increase in lymph node yield resulted from the recovery of smaller nodes. The identification of lymph nodes also improved, and fewer non-lymph node structures were recovered by the end of the study. CONCLUSIONS: Such an audit scheme can be recommended for all institutions where the lymph node yield of axillary clearance specimens seems suboptimal. The relevance of recovering more nodes remains to be determined; from this small series, it seems to have no clinical impact.  (+info)

(8/1709) Do all patients with sentinel node metastasis from breast carcinoma need complete axillary node dissection?

OBJECTIVE: To determine the likelihood of nonsentinel axillary metastasis in the presence of sentinel node metastasis from a primary breast carcinoma. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Sentinel lymphadenectomy is a highly accurate technique for identifying axillary metastasis from a primary breast carcinoma. Our group has shown that nonsentinel axillary lymph nodes are unlikely to contain tumor cells if the axillary sentinel node is tumor-free, but as yet no study has examined the risk of nonsentinel nodal involvement when the sentinel node contains tumor cells. METHODS: Between 1991 and 1997, axillary lymphadenectomy was performed in 157 women with a tumor-involved sentinel node. Fifty-three axillae (33.5%) had at least one tumor-involved nonsentinel node. The authors analyzed the incidence of nonsentinel node involvement according to clinical and tumor characteristics. RESULTS: Only two variables had a significant impact on the likelihood of nonsentinel node metastasis: the size of the sentinel node metastasis and the size of the primary tumor. The rate of nonsentinel node involvement was 7% when the sentinel node had a micrometastasis (< or =2 mm), compared with 55% when the sentinel node had a macrometastasis (>2 mm). In addition, the rate of nonsentinel node tumor involvement increased with the size of the primary tumor. CONCLUSIONS: If a primary breast tumor is small and if sentinel node involvement is micrometastatic, then tumor cells are unlikely to be found in other axillary lymph nodes. This suggests that axillary lymph node dissection may not be necessary in patients with sentinel node micrometastases from T1/T2 lesions, or in patients with sentinel node metastases from T1a lesions.  (+info)