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Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy for the Management of Breast Cancer: A Review of Guidelines

Last updated: April 24, 2019
Project Number: RC1103-000
Product Line: Rapid Response
Research Type: Devices and Systems
Report Type: Summary with Critical Appraisal
Result type: Report


  1. What are the evidence-based guidelines regarding methods for sentinel lymph node biopsy for the management of breast cancer?

Key Message

Five evidence-based guidelines were identified. SLNB is recommended for axillary staging for patients with early-stage or invasive breast cancer without clinically or pathologically positive lymph nodes. SLNB is recommended in patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) when mastectomy was performed, and not for women with a preoperative diagnosis of DCIS who are having breast-conserving surgery, unless they are considered to be at high risk of invasive disease. SLNB is recommended for women who have operable breast cancer who have multicentric tumors, prior breast and/or axillary surgery, or preoperative or neoadjuvant systemic therapy. SLNB, rather than full axillary nodal clearance, is the standard of care in patients with primary breast cancer. The use of SLNB is recommended after neoadjuvant (preoperative) therapy for staging and management of patients presenting with a clinically negative axilla. There was no information found related to transportation of radioactive materials or patients between health facilities.