OBJECTIVE: This study aims to evaluate whether extracapsular extension (ECE) in the sentinel lymph node (SLN) is associated with involvement of ≥ 4 lymph node metastases at completion axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) and the effect on 5-year disease-free survival (DFS) and 10-year overall survival (OS). ECE in a SLN is usually a contraindication for omitting completion ALND in cT1-2N0 breast cancer patients treated with breast-conserving therapy and 1-2 positive SLN(s).
METHODS: All cT1-2N0 breast cancer patients with 1-3 positive SLN(s) who underwent ALND between 2005 and 2008 were selected from the Netherlands Cancer Registry. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the association between ECE and ≥ 4 lymph node metastases. Five-year DFS and 10-year OS were analyzed using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. Cox regression analysis was performed to correct for other prognostic factors.
RESULTS: A total of 3502 patients were included. Information on ECE was available for 2111 (60.3%) patients, consisting of 741 (35.1%) patients with and 1370 (64.9%) without ECE. The incidence of ≥ 4 lymph node metastases was 116 (15.7%) in the ECE group vs. 80 (5.8%) in the group without ECE (p < 0.001). Five-year DFS rate was 86.4% in the ECE group compared to 88.8% in the group without ECE (p = 0.085). 10-year OS rate was 78.6% compared to 83.0% (p = 0.018), respectively. Cox regression analysis showed that ECE was not an independent prognostic factor for both DFS and OS.
CONCLUSIONS: ECE was significantly associated with involvement of ≥ 4 lymph node metastases in the completion ALND group. ECE was not an independent prognostic factor for both DFS and OS.
- Aged, 80 and over
- Breast Neoplasms/pathology
- Disease-Free Survival
- Logistic Models
- Mastectomy, Segmental/methods
- Middle Aged
- Neoplasm Staging
- Sentinel Lymph Node/pathology
- Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy/methods
- Survival Analysis