Sentinel node dissection as definitive treatment for node negative breast cancer patients

Ricardo Ponzone, N. Biglia, F. Maggiorotto, F. Kubatzki, O. Elia, G. De Rosa, P. Sismondi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: Negative sentinel node may predict tumour-free axillary nodes in breast cancer. We report the performance of sentinel node dissection at our Institution. Methods: We analysed data from 212 consecutive women with primary invasive breast tumours less than 3 cm in diameter and no axillary lymphadenopathy who underwent radioguided sentinel node dissection by means of 99mTc-colloidal albumin between 1999 and 2002. Completion axillary node dissection was performed if sentinel nodes contained metastases or if no sentinel nodes were identified. Results: Sentinel nodes were identified in 207/212 of the patients. Fifty-seven patients had tumour-positive sentinel nodes. Only tumour diameter showed significant association with sentinel node status (p <0.000). Per-operative histologic evaluation had a sensitivity of 67.3% and a negative predictive value of 90.4%. No subset of sentinel node positive patients was identified for whom axillary node dissection could be safely avoided. No recurrences were detected at a median follow-up of 15 months. Conclusion: Radioguided sentinel node dissection offers a reliable way to assess nodal status in most breast cancer patients. In our experience, both preoperative lymphoscintigraphy and intraoperative histologic evaluation add useful information to the procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)703-706
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003


  • Breast neoplasms
  • Radionuclide imaging
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Surgery


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