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Eur J Gynaecol Oncol. 2008;29(6):565-7.

Sentinel node biopsy for ipsilateral breast cancer recurrence: a review.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Antwerp University Hospital UZA, Edegem, Belgium.


The aim of this study was to review published reports on the feasability, results, and reliability of sentinel node biopsy in cases of ipsilateral recurrent breast cancer. A Medline search on publications from January 1999 to December 2007 and cross-references in published articles were looked for. We identified 16 reports on sentinel node biopsy in recurrent breast cancer, including a total of 287 patients. In 210/287 (73.2%) a sentinel node was identified, 77/210 (37.7%) had had previous axillary lymph node dissection and 131 (62.3%) a previous sentinel node procedure. Aberrant lymphatic drainage, other than the ipsilateral axilla was noted in 68/210 (32.4%). Of these 16/68 (23.6%) were located in the contralateral axilla. Of the removed contralateral axillary sentinel nodes 8/17 (47.1%) were invaded by cancer. We conclude that sentinel node biopsy in cases of recurrent ipsilateral breast cancer is feasible. In about one out of three cases drainage to the contralateral axilla with invasion in almost half the cases takes place. The therapeutical consequences of these findings need further study.

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