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For women with no suspicious axillary nodes who undergo breast-conserving therapy, there is little evidence of benefit in doing a complete axillary node dissection compared with sentinel node biopsy alone, the reviewers report.
Other examples of this trend toward less invasive procedures include breast-conserving therapy as the preferred alternative to mastectomy and sentinel lymph node biopsy in lieu of the traditional complete axillary node dissection in patients with node-negative disease, added Dr.
The 971 patients in the study, who were followed for a mean of 25 months, were spared complete axillary node dissection because of a negative sentinel node, Dr.