Journal Browser Advanced Search Help
Journal Browser Advanced search HELP
J Breast Cancer. 2018 Dec;21(4):442-446. English. Original Article.
Bi Z , Chen P , Liu J , Liu Y , Qiu P , Yang Q , Zheng W , Wang Y .
School of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Jinan-Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences, Jinan, China.
Breast Cancer Center, Shandong Cancer Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan, China.
Department of Blood Transfusion, The Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University, Qingdao, China.
Department of Breast Surgery, Qilu Hospital, Shandong University, Jinan, China.


The definition of nodal pathologic complete response (pCR) after a neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) just included the evaluation of axillary lymph node (ALN) without internal mammary lymph node. This study aimed to evaluate the feasibility of internal mammary-sentinel lymph node biopsy (IM-SLNB) in patients with breast cancer who underwent NAC.


From November 2011 to 2017, 179 patients with primary breast cancer who underwent operation after NAC were included in this study. All patients received radiotracer injection with modified injection technology. IM-SLNB would be performed on patients with internal mammary sentinel lymph node (IMSLN) visualization.


Among the 158 patients with cN+ disease, the rate of nodal pCR was 36.1% (57/158). Among the 179 patients, the visualization rate of IMSLN was 31.8% (57/179) and was 12.3% (7/57) and 87.7% (50/57) among those with cN₀ and cN+ disease, respectively. Furthermore, the detection rate of IMSLN was 31.3% (56/179). The success rate of IM-SLNB was 98.2% (56/57). The IMSLN metastasis rate was 7.1% (4/56), and all of them were accompanied by ALN metastasis. The number of positive ALNs in patients with IMSLN metastasis was 3, 6, 8, and 9. The pathology nodal stage had been changed from pN₁/pN₂ to pN₃(b). The pathology stage had been changed from IIA/IIIA to IIIC.


Patients with visualization of IMSLN should perform IM-SLNB after NAC, especially for patients with cN+ disease, in order to complete lymph nodal staging. IM-SLNB could further improve the definition of nodal pCR and guide the internal mammary node irradiation.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.