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Journal of ZheJiang University(Medical Science)  2014, Vol. 43 Issue (4): 381-387    DOI: 10.3785/j.issn.1008-9292.2014.07.001
Prospect and guideline update of sentinel lymph node biopsy for patients with early-stage breast carcinoma
ZHOU Mei-qi, CHEN Hai-long, HU Yue, DENG Yong-chuan, ZHENG Shu
Department of Surgical Oncology, Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hanghou 310009, China
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Axillary lymph nodes are the most common and initial site of metastasis of breast carcinoma. Precise axillary staging of breast carcinoma before initial treatment is crucial as it allows efficient identification for local and systemic treatment options, and provides prognostic information. Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) is an accurate minimally invasive technology for axillary staging. Although top evidence of high-quality clinical trials showed that SLNB could safely and effectively replace axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) for axillary negative patients with decrease in complications and improvement in quality of life, there are specific indications and contraindications for SLNB. Clinicians should balance the compliance of guideline and native clinical practice, especially for the circumstance of multifocal/multicentric lesion, breast biopsy history, and neoadjuvant chemotherapy. With the accumulation of clinical practice and new results of clinical trials, axillary therapy has changed from unique surgery to patient-tailored multi-disciplinary intervention, although ALND should be recommended traditionally if SLNB is positive. Intensive and accurate preoperative axillary staging is gradually valued by clinicians. Development of imaging modality especially ultrasonography and ultrasound-guided biopsy can identify some extra lymph node positive patients directly to ALND with avoidance of unnecessary SLNB. Thus, the positive rate of SLNB will decline significantly. It seems possible that axillary management will step into a noninvasive era abandoning SLNB in some patients with small breast cancer. In this article we review the prospect and guideline update of SLNB for patients with early-stage breast cancer.

Received: 18 June 2014     
Corresponding Authors: ZHENG Shu,E-mail:   
Cite this article:

ZHOU Mei-qi,et al. Prospect and guideline update of sentinel lymph node biopsy for patients with early-stage breast carcinoma. Journal of ZheJiang University(Medical Science), 2014, 43(4): 381-387.

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