Paper of the Month - December, 2011

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Sentinel lymph node biopsy in early breast cancer: the experience of the European Institute of Oncology in special clinical scenarios.

Toesca A, Luini A, Veronesi P et al.
While axillary lymph node (ALN) status is still one of the most important prognostic factors in breast cancer, sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) has evolved as the primary staging procedure and has drastically reduced post-surgical morbidity, improving early and long-term quality of life (QoL). Axillary status remains important in the decision-making process for adjuvant treatment, but this choice is becoming increasingly dependent on biological features rather than on the risk of recurrence. At the European Institute of Oncology in Milan, Italy, between 1996 and 2010, the current authors successfully performed 18 884 SLNBs for breast cancer, confirming the validity of this technique and its positive impact on QoL. In this article, they summarize the data collected at their institute concerning SLNB and its application in “special” clinical scenarios.


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