A Prospective, Multicenter Registry Study to Evaluate the Clinical Feasibility of Targeted Axillary Dissection (TAD) in Node-positive Breast Cancer Patients

Ann Surg. 2022 Nov 1;276(5):e553-e562. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000004572. Epub 2020 Nov 4.


Objective: This study aimed to investigate the feasibility and accuracy of non-radioactive TLN biopsy and TAD in routine clinical practice.

Background data: TAD involves TLN biopsy (TLNB) and sentinel lymph node biopsy and was recently introduced as a new standard for less invasive axillary staging in BC patients undergoing neoadjuvant systemic therapy (NST); however, clinical evidence is limited.

Methods: The SenTa study is a prospective registry study conducted at 50 centers. Patients with invasive BC who nderwent clip insertion into the most suspicious axillary lymph node were eligible. Axillary surgery was performed with or without sentinel lymph node biopsy, TLNB, and/or axillary lymph node dissection (ALND). Main endpoints were the detection rate and FNR of TLNB and TAD after NST.

Results: Between 2017 and 2018, 548 consecutive BC patients underwent clip placement into biopsy-confirmed positive lymph nodes. After NST (n = 473), the clipped TLN was intraoperatively resected in 329 of 423 patients [77.8%, 95% confidence interval (CI): 74.0-82.0]. TAD was successful in 199 of 229 patients (detection rate: 86.9%, 95% CI: 81.8-91.0), the SLN and TLN were identical in 129 patient (64.8%). FNRs were 7.2% (8 of 111, 95% CI: 3.1-13.6) for TLNB followed by ALND (n = 203) and 4.3% (2 of 46, 95% CI: 0.5-14.8) for TAD followed by ALND (n = 77).

Conclusions: The SenTa study demonstrates the feasibility of TAD in a real-world cohort of BC patients. Our findings are of great importance for de-escalation of surgical strategies.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Axilla
  • Breast Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymph Node Excision
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Lymph Nodes / surgery
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Registries
  • Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy