Breast Cancer: Axillary Node Interventions

Roshni Rao, MD Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, DallasMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Roshni Rao, MD

Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? 

Dr. Rao: That in most women with small breast cancer (<3.0cm in size), it is not necessary to removal all the lymph nodes underneath the arm, even if those nodes do have cancer. Radiation therapy, which is required after a partial mastectomy for breast cancer, can prevent these nodes from growing or becoming clinically significant.

MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Rao: This review further establishes the lack of survival benefit from removal of all the axillary lymph nodes for patients with breast cancer.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Rao: That a personalized approach to breast cancer, which includes information on tumor biology utilizing molecular markers, allows for less aggressive surgery.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Rao: Similar data have not yet been established for patients undergoing mastectomy alone, or for patients who receive neoadjuvant chemotherapy and who have needle biopsy proven axillary metastases.

Citation:

Rao R, Euhus D, Mayo HG, Balch C. Axillary Node Interventions in Breast Cancer: A Systematic Review. JAMA. 2013;310(13):1385-1394. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.277804.