Breast cancer patients treated without axillary surgery: Clinical implications and biologic analysis

Marco Greco, Roberto Agresti, Natale Cascinelli, Patrizia Casalini, Riccardo Giovanazzi, Antonio Maucione, Gorana Tomasic, Cristina Ferraris, Mario Ammatuna, Silvana Pilotti, Sylvie Menard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate the impact of breast carcinoma (T1- 2N0) surgery without axillary dissection on axillary and distant relapses, and to evaluate the usefulness of a panel of pathobiologic parameters determined from the primary tumor, independent of axillary nodal status, in planning adjuvant treatment. Methods: In a prospective nonrandomized pilot study, 401 breast cancer patients who underwent breast surgery without axillary dissection were accrued from January 1986 to June 1994. At surgery, all patients were clinically node-negative and lacked evidence of distant metastases after clinical or radiologic examination. A precise 4-month clinical and radiologic follow-up was performed to detect axillary or distant metastases. Patients with clinical evidence of axillary nodal relapse were considered for surgery as salvage treatment. Biologic characteristics of primary carcinomas were investigated by immunohistochemistry, and four pathologic and biologic parameters (size, grading, laminin receptor, and c-erbB-2 receptor) were analyzed to determine a prognostic score. Results: The 5-year follow-up of these patients revealed a low rate of nodal relapses (6.7%), particularly for T1a and T1b patients (2% and 1.7%, respectively), whereas T1c and T2 patients showed a 10% and 18% relapse rate, respectively. Surgery was a safe and feasible salvage treatment without technical problems in all 19 cases of progressive disease at the axillary level. The low rate of distant metastases in T1a and T1b groups (

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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