Predicting pathological axillary lymph node status with ultrasound following neoadjuvant therapy for breast cancer
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
Purpose: High-performing imaging and predictive markers are warranted to minimize surgical overtreatment of the axilla in breast cancer (BC) patients receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT). Here we have investigated whether axillary ultrasound (AUS) could identify axillary lymph node (ALN) metastasis (ALNM) pre-NACT and post-NACT for BC. The association of tumor, AUS features and mammographic density (MD) with axillary-pathological complete response (axillary-pCR) post-NACT was also assessed. Methods: The NeoDense-study cohort (N = 202, NACT during 2014–2019), constituted a pre-NACT cohort, whereas patients whom had a cytology verified ALNM pre-NACT and an axillary dissection performed (N = 114) defined a post-NACT cohort. AUS characteristics were prospectively collected pre- and post-NACT. The diagnostic accuracy of AUS was evaluated and stratified by histological subtype and body mass index (BMI). Predictors of axillary-pCR were analyzed, including MD, using simple and multivariable logistic regression models. Results: AUS demonstrated superior performance for prediction of ALNM pre-NACT in comparison to post-NACT, as reflected by the positive predictive value (PPV) 0.94 (95% CI 0.89–0.97) and PPV 0.76 (95% CI 0.62–0.87), respectively. We found no difference in AUS performance according to neither BMI nor histological subtype. Independent predictors of axillary-pCR were: premenopausal status, ER-negativity, HER2-overexpression, and high MD. Conclusion: Baseline AUS could, to a large extent, identify ALNM; however, post-NACT, AUS was insufficient to determine remaining ALNM. Thus, our results support the surgical staging of the axilla post-NACT. Baseline tumor biomarkers and patient characteristics were predictive of axillary-pCR. Larger, multicenter studies are needed to evaluate the performance of AUS post-NACT.
|Research areas and keywords||
Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY
|Journal||Breast Cancer Research and Treatment|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 2021|