Factors associated with involvement of four or more axillary nodes for sentinel lymph node-positive patients

Angela Katz, Andrzej Niemierko, Irene Gage, Sheila Evans, Margaret Shaffer, Frederick P. Smith, Alphonse Taghian, Colette Magnant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: Sentinel lymph node-positive (SLN+) patients who are unlikely to have 4 or more involved axillary nodes might be treated with less extensive regional nodal radiation. The purpose of this study was to define possible predictors of having 4 or more involved axillary nodes. Methods and Materials: The records of 224 patients with breast cancer and 1 to 3 involved SLNs, who underwent completion axillary dissection without neoadjuvant chemotherapy or hormonal therapy were reviewed. Factors associated with the presence of 4 or more involved axillary nodes (SLNs plus non-SLNs) were evaluated by Pearson chi-square test of association and by simple and multiple logistic-regression analysis. Results: Of 224 patients, 42 had involvement of 4 or more axillary nodes. On univariate analysis, the presence of 4 or more involved axillary nodes was positively associated with increased tumor size, lobular histology, lymphovascular space invasion (LVSI), increased number of involved SLNs, decreased number of uninvolved SLNs, and increased size of SLN metastasis. On multivariate analysis, the presence of 4 or more involved axillary nodes was associated with LVSI, increased number of involved SLNs, increased size of SLN metastasis, and lobular histology. Conclusions: Patients with 1 or more involved SLN, LVSI, or SLN macrometastasis should be treated to the supraclavicular fossa/axillary apex if they do not undergo completion axillary dissection. Other SLN+ patients might be adequately treated with less extensive radiation fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-44
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Volume65
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Axilla
  • Breast neoplasms
  • Lymphatic metastasis
  • Radiation
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research

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