PRACTICE GUIDELINE
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Sentinel lymph node biopsy for patients with early-stage breast cancer: American Society of Clinical Oncology clinical practice guideline update.

PURPOSE: To provide evidence-based recommendations to practicing oncologists, surgeons, and radiation therapy clinicians to update the 2005 clinical practice guideline on the use of sentinel node biopsy (SNB) for patients with early-stage breast cancer.

METHODS: The American Society of Clinical Oncology convened an Update Committee of experts in medical oncology, pathology, radiation oncology, surgical oncology, guideline implementation, and advocacy. A systematic review of the literature was conducted from February 2004 to January 2013 in Medline. Guideline recommendations were based on the review of the evidence by Update Committee.

RESULTS: This guideline update reflects changes in practice since the 2005 guideline. Nine randomized clinical trials (RCTs) met systematic review criteria for clinical questions 1 and 2; 13 cohort studies informed clinical question 3.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Women without sentinel lymph node (SLN) metastases should not receive axillary lymph node dissection (ALND). Women with one to two metastatic SLNs planning to undergo breast-conserving surgery with whole-breast radiotherapy should not undergo ALND (in most cases). Women with SLN metastases who will undergo mastectomy should be offered ALND. These three recommendation are based on RCTs. Women with operable breast cancer and multicentric tumors, with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) who will undergo mastectomy, who previously underwent breast and/or axillary surgery, or who received preoperative/neoadjuvant systemic therapy may be offered SNB. Women who have large or locally advanced invasive breast cancer (tumor size T3/T4), inflammatory breast cancer, or DCIS (when breast-conserving surgery is planned) or are pregnant should not undergo SNB. These recommendations are based on cohort studies and/or informal consensus. In some cases, updated evidence was insufficient to update previous recommendations.

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