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Prediction of non-sentinel lymph node metastasis in early breast cancer by assessing total tumoral load in the sentinel lymph node by molecular assay

      Abstract

      Introduction

      The one-step nucleic acid amplification (OSNA) is a molecular procedure that yields a semiquantitative result for detection of nodal metastasis. Size of metastasis in the sentinel lymph node (SLN) by conventional histology has been described as a predictive factor for additional axillary metastasis. The objective of this study is to quantify intraoperatively the total tumoral load (TTL) in the positive SLNs assessed by OSNA and to determine whether this TTL predicts non-SLN metastasis in patients with clinically node negative early stage breast cancer.

      Methods

      306 patients with cT1-3N0 invasive breast cancer who had undergone intraoperative SLN evaluation by OSNA were included. TTL was defined as the addition of CK19 mRNA copies of each positive SLN (copies/μL).

      Results

      TTL was a predictive factor of additional non-SLN metastasis in the complete axillary lymph node dissection (cALND) (OR, 1.67; 95% CI, 1.18–2.35). In the multivariate analysis, the TTL was a predictor of non-SLN metastasis in HR positive patients (OR, 1.69; 95% CI, 1.19–2.41). In our cohort of patients, with a TTL ≤1.2 × 105 copies/μL, there was a specificity of 85.3% and negative predictive value (NPV) of 80%. If we consider only the HR positive patients, with a TTL ≤5 × 105 copies/μL there was a specificity of 86.7% and NPV of 83.7%.

      Conclusions

      TTL assessed by OSNA assay predicts for additional non-SLN metastasis and this intraoperative tool can help guiding decisions on performing a cALND in breast cancer patients.

      Keywords

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