Contemporary Axillary Management in cT1–2N0 Breast Cancer with One or Two Positive Sentinel Lymph Nodes: Factors Associated with Completion Axillary Lymph Node Dissection Within the National Cancer Database

Arielle P. Stafford, Tanya L. Hoskin, Courtney N. Day, Stacy B. Sanders, Judy C. Boughey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Management of the axilla in patients with cT1–2N0 breast cancer with one or two positive (+) sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) is often debated, especially in patients undergoing mastectomy. In 2018, the National Cancer Database (NCDB) began collecting the number of +SLNs, enabling identification of patients with one or two +SLNs for the first time. Methods: From the 2018 NCDB participant user file (PUF), all cT1–2N0M0 patients with one or two +SLNs were identified. The rates of completion axillary lymph node dissection (cALND) after breast-conserving surgery (BCS) and mastectomy were determined, and logistic regression was used to assess factors associated with cALND. Results: Of 10,531 patients with one or two +SLNs, cALND was performed in 807/6498 (12.4%) BCS patients and 1845/4033 (45.7%) mastectomy patients (p < 0.001). Factors associated with cALND in BCS were cT2 versus cT1 (16.0% versus 11.1%, p < 0.001), two versus one positive SLN (20.7% versus 10.8%, p < 0.001), and higher tumor grade (grade 3: 15.4% versus grade 1–2: 11.7%, p = 0.002). Factors associated with cALND among mastectomy were cT2 versus cT1 (48.2% versus 43.7%, p = 0.004), two versus one positive SLN (56.6% versus 42.8%, p < 0.001), younger age (age < 50 years: 49.0%, age 50+ years: 44.1%, p = 0.004), and Hispanic ethnicity (55.7% versus 45.1%, p = 0.001). After adjusting for pN category, adjuvant radiation was significantly less likely after mastectomy if cALND was performed (odds ratio (OR) 0.51, p < 0.001). Conclusions: Omission of cALND with one or two +SLNs in BCS is common. Deescalation of axillary therapy in mastectomy is slower, with a cALND rate of 45.7% in 2018. With the recent updates to the National Cancer Care Network (NCCN) guidelines, we anticipate continued deescalation of axillary therapy in mastectomy patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4740-4749
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of surgical oncology
Volume29
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology

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