Treatment of the axila in breast cancer surgery


Cir Esp 2017, 95: 503-12 Download Full Text (pdf, 367Kb) 

DOI: 10.1016/j.ciresp.2017.08.004

Sentinel lymph node biopsy and ACOSOG-Z0011 criteria have modified axillary treatment in breast cancer surgery. We performed a systematic review of studies assessing the impact of axillary treatment on survival. The search showed 6891 potentially eligible items. Of them, 23 clinical trials and 12 meta-analyses published between 1980 and 2017 met the study criteria. The review revealed that axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) can be omitted in patients pN0 and pN1mic, without compromising survival. In patients pN1 it is proposed not to treat the axilla or replace ALND for axillary radiotherapy. The main limitations of this study are the inclusion of old tests that do not use therapeutic targets and lack of risk categorization of relapse. In conclusion, axillary treatment can be avoided in patients without metastatic involvement or micrometastases in the sentinel lymph node. However, there is no evidence to make a recommendation of axillary treatment in N1 patients, so individualized analysis of patient risk factors is needed.