Table 8Dissemination of cancerous cells during biopsy procedures

Type of studyNumber of studiesNumber of patientsSummary of findings
Histopathological demonstration of dissemination of cells3 case reports155–157

1 retrospective study163

6 prospective studies154,158–162
786The percentage of needle tracks reported to contain displaced cancerous cells ranged from 0% to 65%.

Factors reported to increase the risk of finding displaced cancerous cells include: duration of the biopsy procedure,158 multiple passes of the needle,159 and a short interval between core-needle procedure and surgical excision.154

Factors reported to decrease the risk of finding displaced cancerous cells include: diagnosis of invasive lobular carcinoma,159 and use of vacuum-assisted core-needle biopsy.154
Tumor recurrence at the biopsy site3 case reports155,161,16466 cases of tumor recurrence at the biopsy site were presented. All were treated with skin-sparing mastectomy following core-needle biopsy, and three were reported to have not received radiation treatment.155,161 It was not reported whether the other 3 cases received radiation treatment.164
Risk of tumor recurrence following biopsy4 retrospective studies165–1681,879Three of the four studies reported that women treated with open excisional biopsies had a higher rate of tumor recurrence than women who received pre-operative core-needle biopsies;165–167 the fourth study reported opposite findings.168 The majority of women in all four studies were treated with breast-conserving surgery and radiation therapy.
Risk of metastasis to the lymph nodes following biopsy3 retrospective studies169–1713,103Two studies reported that the method of biopsy did not correlate with the rate of metastases to the sentinel lymph nodes;169,171 one study reported that the rate of metastases to the sentinel lymph nodes was higher in women who underwent some type of pre-operative needle biopsy than in women who underwent open excisional biopsy.170

From: 3, Results

Cover of Comparative Effectiveness of Core-Needle and Open Surgical Biopsy for the Diagnosis of Breast Lesions
Comparative Effectiveness of Core-Needle and Open Surgical Biopsy for the Diagnosis of Breast Lesions [Internet].
Comparative Effectiveness Reviews, No. 19.
Bruening W, Schoelles K, Treadwell J, et al.

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