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BCC 2021 | Omitting axillary lymph node dissection in breast cancer patients after neoadjuvant chemotherapy

Bekir Kuru, MD, Ondokuz Mayıs University School of Medicine, Samsun, Turkey, discusses an investigation into the feasibility of omitting axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) in breast cancer patients with positive sentinel lymph nodes (SLN) following neoadjuvant chemotherapy. A recent single center study of 52 patients with clinical negative axilla and metastatic SLN(s) after neoadjuvant chemotherapy, compared those who underwent ALND to those who did not. The results showed that patients who did not have ALND had comparable disease-free survival and axillary recurrence rates to those that did. Additionally, omitting ALND decreased the occurrence of lymphedema. Prof Kuru also discusses the ongoing Phase III multicenter study (NCT01901094) comparing ALND with axillary radiation alone, which will provide further evidence in this field. This interview took place during the 17th St. Gallen International Breast Cancer Conference.