Lymph Node Dissection (SLND) is standard of care for diagnosing sentinel lymph node (SLN) status in patients with early breast cancer. Study aim was to determine whether the combination of Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIO) MRI-lymphography (MRI-LG) and a Magnetic-guided Axillary UltraSound (MagUS) with biopsy can allow for minimally invasive, axillary evaluation to de-escalate surgery. Patients were injected with 2 mL of SPIO and underwent MRI-LG for SN mapping. Thereafter MagUS and core needle biopsy (CNB) were performed. Patients planned for neoadjuvant treatment, the SLN was clipped and SLND was performed after neoadjuvant with the addition of isotope. During surgery, SLNs were controlled for signs of previous biopsy or clip. The primary endpoint was MagUS SLN detection rate, defined as successful SLN detection of at least one SLN of those retrieved in SLND. In 79 patients, 48 underwent upfront surgery, 12 received neoadjuvant and 19 had recurrent cancer. MagUS traced the SLN in all upfront and neoadjuvant cases, detecting all patients with macrometastases (n = 10). MagUS missed only one micrometastasis, outperforming baseline axillary ultrasound AUS (AUC: 0.950 vs. 0.508, p < 0.001) and showing no discordance to SLND (p = 1.000). MagUS provides the niche for minimally invasive axillary mapping that can reduce diagnostic surgery.
Keywords: breast cancer; magnetic tracer; sentinel lymph node; sentinel lymph node biopsy; superparamagnetic iron oxide.