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Sentinel Node Accurate for Multicentric Breast Cancer

Study shows procedure is 97.3 percent accurate overall

FRIDAY, July 21 (HealthDay News) -- Although multicentric breast cancer was thought to be a contraindication for sentinel node biopsy without axillary lymph node dissection, a new study suggests that it may be appropriate for some patients. The finding was reported in the July 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Michael Knauer, M.D., of Landeskrankenhaus Feldkirch, in Feldkirch, Austria, and colleagues evaluated sentinel node biopsy feasibility and accuracy in 142 patients with multicentric cancer from the Austrian Sentinel Node Study Group. The data were compared with those from 3,216 patients with unicentric cancer.

The authors found a sentinel node metastasis incidence of 60.8 percent with another 60.8 percent of these showing involvement in non-sentinel nodes. The authors found the sensitivity of the test was 96.0 percent, with a negative predictive value of 93.3 percent and an overall accuracy of 97.3 percent. Ninety-one percent of patients underwent mastectomy with the rest having breast conserving surgery, none of whom have shown axillary recurrence so far.

"Multicentric breast cancer is a new indication for sentinel node biopsy without routine axillary lymph node dissection in controlled trials," the authors wrote. While "none of the patients with MC enrolled in the study including the 17 without axillary lymph node dissection developed axillary recurrence during the specified follow-up times," these were "too short for recommending sentinel node biopsy without axillary lymph node dissection for all patients with MC," they added.

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