Axillary Surgery Following Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy - Multidisciplinary Guidance From the Association of Breast Surgery, Faculty of Clinical Oncology of the Royal College of Radiologists, UK Breast Cancer Group, National Coordinating Committee for Breast Pathology and British Society of Breast Radiology.
AIMS: These multidisciplinary guidelines aim to provide clinically helpful, evidence-based recommendations on the surgical management of the axilla in patients who have received neo-adjuvant chemotherapy for early breast cancer. MATERIALS & METHODS: Following a review of published evidence, a writing group representing all disciplines quorate within a breast cancer multidisciplinary meeting prepared the guidelines. KEY RECOMMENDATIONS: In patients presenting with clinically node negative axillae, sentinel node biopsy (SNB) may be performed prior to or on completion of neo-adjuvant chemotherapy (NACT). In patients presenting with clinically node positive axillae, SNB may be safely considered following completion of NACT. Four nodes should be removed with dual mapping. If evidence of complete pathological response of previous metastases is seen, axillary radiotherapy may be offered. If residual cancer (isolated tumour cells, micro- or macrometastes) is seen within the SNB, offer axillary node dissection.