The Outcome of Sentinel Node Biopsy in Breast Cancer Patients With Preoperative Surgical Biopsy

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The aim of the study was to evaluate the outcome of sentinel node biopsy (SNB), especially the medium term axillary recurrence rate after negative SNB in patients with preoperative surgical biopsy (SB).

Patients and Methods:

The study included 1,641 patients with a histological stage T1 tumours and SNB. In 77 patients, the diagnosis was obtained with SB, while 1,564 patients had underwent needle biopsy (NB) only. Axillary clearance was omitted in 56 SB patients and 921 NB patients after negative SNB. The median duration of follow-up in these patients was 54 months.


None of the SB patients had axillary recurrences during the follow-up. Six NB patients had isolated axillary recurrences while three patients had concomitant local and axillary recurrences. There were no differences in local or distant recurrences or breast cancer deaths between the SB and the NB patients.


SNB seems a feasible axillary staging method in patients with histological stage T1 tumour also after preoperative SB. The risk of axillary recurrence after negative SNB is negligible in these patients.

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