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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 405949, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/405949
Review Article

Controversial Indications for Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy in Breast Cancer Patients

1Department of Internal Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Cairo Street, P.O. Box 11-0236, Riad El Solh, Beirut 1107 2020, Lebanon
2Department of Surgery, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Cairo Street, P.O. Box 11-0236, Riad El Solh, Beirut 1107 2020, Lebanon
3Department of Medicine, Dalhousie University, 6299 South Street, Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 4R2

Received 21 November 2014; Revised 19 February 2015; Accepted 19 February 2015

Academic Editor: Robert A. Vierkant

Copyright © 2015 Hazem Assi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) emerged in the 1990s as a new technique in the surgical management of the axilla for patients with early breast cancer, resulting in lower complication rates and better quality of life than axillary lymph node dissection (ALND). Today SLNB is firmly established in the armamentarium of clinicians treating breast cancer, but several questions remain. The goal of this paper is to review recent work addressing 4 questions that have been the subject of debate in the use of SLNB in the past few years: (a) What is the implication of finding micrometastases in the sentinel nodes? (b) Is ALND necessary in all patients who have a positive SLNB? (c) How accurate is SLNB after neoadjuvant therapy? (d) Can SLNB be used to stage the axilla in locally recurrent breast cancer following breast surgery with or without prior axillary surgery?