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Int J Breast Cancer. 2011;2011:873987. doi: 10.4061/2011/873987. Epub 2011 Sep 8.

Patterns of cellular distribution with the sentinel node positive for breast cancer.

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1
Program in Women's Oncology, Women and Infants Hospital, 101 Dudley Street, Providence, RI 02905, USA.

Abstract

Background. Sentinel node biopsy (SNB) represents the standard of care in breast cancer axillary evaluation. Our study aims to characterize the patterns of malignant cell distribution within the sentinel nodes (SN). Methods. In a retrospective IRB-approved study, we examined the anatomic location of the nodal area with the highest radioactive signal or most intense blue staining (hot spot) and its distance from the metastatic foci. Results. 58 patients underwent SNB between January 2006 and February 2007. 12 patients with 19 positive SN were suitable for analysis. 4 (21%) metastases were located in the nodal hilum and 15 (79%) in the cortex. 6 (31%) metastases were found adjacent to the hotspot, and 9 (47%) within 4 mm of the hotspot. Conclusions. In our pilot series, SN metastases were within 4 mm of the hotspot in 78% of the cases. Pathologic analysis focused in that area may contribute to the more accurate identification of nodal metastases.

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