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Annotated Bibliography of NSABP Publications

Sentinel Node Biopsy After Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in Breast Cancer: Results from National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project Protocol B-27.
Mamounas EP, Brown A, Anderson S, Smith RE, Julian TB, Miller B, Bear HD, Caldwell C, Walker A, Mikkelson W, Stauffer J, Robidoux A, Theoret H, Soran A, Fisher B, Wickerham DL, Wolmark N
J Clin Oncol. 2005;23(12):2694-702. Erratum in: J Clin Oncol. 2005 Jul 20;23(21):4808.

Purpose: Experience with sentinel node biopsy (SNB) after neoadjuvant chemotherapy is limited. We examined the feasibility and accuracy of this procedure within a randomized trial in patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

Patients and Methods: During the conduct of National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project trial B-27, several participating surgeons attempted SNB before the required axillary dissection in 428 patients. All underwent lymphatic mapping and an attempt to identify and remove a sentinel node. Lymphatic mapping was performed with radioactive colloid (14.7%), with lymphazurin blue dye alone (29.9%), or with both (54.7%).

Results: Success rate for the identification and removal of a sentinel node was 84.8%. Success rate increased significantly with the use of radioisotope (87.6% to 88.9%) versus with the use of lymphazurin alone (78.1%, P = .03). There were no significant differences in success rate according to clinical tumor size, clinical nodal status, age, or calendar year of random assignment. Of 343 patients who had SNB and axillary dissection, the sentinel nodes were positive in 125 patients and were the only positive nodes in 70 patients (56.0%). Of the 218 patients with negative sentinel nodes, nonsentinel nodes were positive in 15 (false-negative rate, 10.7%; 15 of 140 patients). There were no significant differences in false-negative rate according to clinical patient and tumor characteristics, method of lymphatic mapping, or breast tumor response to chemotherapy.

Conclusion: These results are comparable to those obtained from multicenter studies evaluating SNB before systemic therapy and suggest that the sentinel node concept is applicable following neoadjuvant chemotherapy.