Systematic review of targeted axillary dissection in node-positive breast cancer treated with neoadjuvant systemic therapy: variation in type of marker and timing of placement

Sabine R. De Wild*, Linetta B. Koppert, Thiemo J.A. Van Nijnatten, Loes F.S. Kooreman, Marie Jeanne T.F.D. Vrancken Peeters, Marjolein L. Smidt, Janine M. Simons

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: 

In node-positive (cN+) breast cancer treated with neoadjuvant systemic therapy, combining sentinel lymph node biopsy and targeted lymph node excision, that is targeted axillary dissection, increases accuracy. Targeted axillary dissection procedures differ in terms of the targeted lymph node excision technique. This systematic review aimed to provide an overview of targeted axillary dissection procedures regarding definitive marker type and timing of placement: before neoadjuvant systemic therapy (1-step procedure) or after neoadjuvant systemic therapy adjacent to a clip placed before the neoadjuvant therapy (2-step procedure). 

Methods: 

PubMed and Embase were searched, to 4 July 2023, for RCTs, cohort studies, and case-control studies with at least 25 patients. Studies of targeted lymph node excision only (without sentinel lymph node biopsy), or where intraoperative localization of the targeted lymph node was not attempted, were excluded. For qualitative synthesis, studies were grouped by definitive marker and timing of placement. The targeted lymph node identification rate was reported. Study quality was assessed using a National Institutes of Health quality assessment tool.

Results: 

Of 277 unique records, 51 studies with a total of 4512 patients were included. Six definitive markers were identified: wire, 125I-labelled seed, 99mTc, (electro)magnetic/radiofrequency markers, black ink, and a clip. Fifteen studies evaluated one-step procedures, with the identification rate of the targeted lymph node at surgery varying from 8 of 13 to 47 of 47. Forty-one studies evaluated two-step procedures, with the identification rate of the clipped targeted lymph node on imaging after neoadjuvant systemic therapy varying from 49 to 100%, and the identification rate of the targeted lymph node at surgery from 17 of 24 to 100%. Most studies (40 of 51) were rated as being of fair quality.

Conclusion: 

Various targeted axillary dissection procedures are used in clinical practice. Owing to study heterogeneity, the optimal targeted lymph node excision technique in terms of identification rate and feasibility could not be determined. Two-step procedures are at risk of not identifying the clipped targeted lymph node on imaging after neoadjuvant systemic therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberznae071
JournalBritish Journal of Surgery
Volume111
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of BJS Foundation Ltd.

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Systematic review of targeted axillary dissection in node-positive breast cancer treated with neoadjuvant systemic therapy: variation in type of marker and timing of placement'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this