Emiel J. Rutgers, MD, surgical oncologist, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, discusses a study analyzing radiotherapy or surgery of the axilla after a positive sentinel node in breast cancer patients.
Emiel J. Rutgers, MD, surgical oncologist, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, discusses a study comparing the effectiveness of axillary radiotherapy (ART) and axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) for women with early-stage sentinel lymph node-positive breast cancer.
In the study, 4806 patients with primary tumors up to 5 cm that were clinically node-negative (cT1-2N0) underwent sentinel node biopsies. Depending upon biopsy results, patients received follow-up monitoring or were randomized to ART or ALND.
Rutgers says that after a five-year follow-up period, the rates of cancer recurrence in the axilla were very low for both groups. The recurrence rate in the ART group was 1.03% (7 patients), compared with 0.54% (4 patients) in the ALND group. Oncologically, both treatment strategies are acceptable, Rutgers says.