Wire guided localisation for targeted axillary node dissection is accurate in axillary staging in node positive breast cancer following neoadjuvant chemotherapy

Rajesh Balasubramian, Catrin Morgan, Elina Shaari, Tibor Kovacs, Sarah E. Pinder, Hisham Hamed, Ali R. Sever, Ashutosh Kothari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Aim: This study investigated whether wire localisation of the histologically proven positive, clipped axillary lymph node (ALN) with subsequent targeted axillary dissection (TAD) following neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) improves axillary staging in breast cancer. Materials and methods: We performed a retrospective review of patients with primary breast cancer and core biopsy proven metastatic ALNs, that had an excellent nodal radiological response following NACT, treated at our centre between January 2016 and December 2018. The initial cohort of patients (Group 1) underwent sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB), with a minimum of three nodes were sampled. The subsequent cohort (Group 2) had a marker clip inserted in the metastatic ALN prior to NACT. This cohort underwent wire guided excision of the clipped node in addition to SLNB, with a minimum of three nodes sampled. Results: A total of 47 patients were identified. Group 1 comprised 22 patients with a sentinel lymph node (SLN) identification rate (IR) of 95%. 25 patients (Group 2) underwent wire guided clip location and the SLN IR was 100% with a 92% clipped node IR. Evidence of pathological complete response (pCR) in the clipped node was associated with pCR in other nodes. Conclusion: Targeted axillary dissection is a feasible technique following excellent response to NACT in selected patients with limited volume ALN metastasis, at diagnosis. The identification of the positive ALN during surgery is vital and the IR can be improved by clipping the node prior to NACT and wire guided localisation at the time of surgery.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Surgical Oncology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019



  • Breast cancer
  • Clipped axillary node
  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy
  • Targeted dissection
  • Wire localisation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology

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