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Volume 17, Number 3, 2012

Radiotherapeutic management of the axillae in early stage breast cancer: Perspective of the radiation oncologist

Arantxa Eraso, Ferran Guedea


1. The ACOSOG Z0011 study and the MA.20 study: landmark phase III trials

Lymphadenectomy has long been part of the standard treatment for breast cancer in patients with axillary node involvement. Complete axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) provides valuable information for staging as the number of positive nodes is an indicator of risk. Patients with nodal involvement are at high risk of both locoregional recurrence and distant metastasis, and this risk increases with the number of involved nodes. Despite the widely recognized value of ALND in locoregional control and as a prognostic tool, the risk of complications from surgery (lymphedema, seroma, and infection) is significant. An alternative strategy is to perform sentinel lymph node dissection (SLND),1 which is also useful for staging but with less morbidity.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2012; 17(3) : 119-121

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