www.nature.com/bjc ARTICLE Epidemiology Prognostic value of isolated tumour cells in sentinel lymph nodes in early-stage breast cancer: a prospective study 1 1 2 3 1 Jenni S. Liikanen , Marjut H. Leidenius , Heikki Joensuu , Jaana H. Vironen and Tuomo J. Meretoja BACKGROUND: The prognostic signiﬁcance of isolated tumour cells (ITCs) in the sentinel nodes (SNs) is controversial in early breast cancer, and some centres have abandoned immunohistochemistry to detect ITCs. METHODS: Patients with unilateral pT1N0 breast cancer, operated between February 2001 and August 2005 at a university hospital were included in this prospective, population-based cohort study. Survival of 936 patients with or without isolated tumour cells (ITC) in their SNs were compared with the log-rank test and Cox regression analysis. RESULTS: Eight hundred sixty one (92.0%) patients were ITC-negative (pN0i−) and 75 (8.0%) ITC-positive (pN0i+). Patients with ITC- positive cancer received more frequently adjuvant systemic therapies than those with ITC-negative cancer. The median follow-up time was 9.5 years. Ten-year distant disease-free survival was 95.3% in the pN0i− group and 88.8% in the pN0i+ group (P = 0.013). ITCs were an independent prognostic factor in a Cox regression model (HR = 2.34, 95% CI 1.09–5.04; P = 0.029),
British Journal of Cancer – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 24, 2018
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