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Recommendations for staging and managing the axilla

Details of trials

Table 1: Patient characteristics of randomised controlled trials

Trial, Year Patient Numbers Breast cancer characteristics Patient Age / Menopausal status
Chetty, 200053 466 Operable breast cancer, tumour size ≤4cm Median age: 54yrs
Fisher, 200222 1665 Primary operable breast cancer, clinically node-negative and positive NR
Kodama, 200620 514 Breast cancer (T1-3, N0, N1a, N1b)

Level I dissection vs. level III dissection

Mean age: 51.6yrs vs. 50.6yrs

Menopausal status
125 vs. 131
131 vs. 127

Louis-Sylvestre, 200421 658 Invasive breast cancer, tumour size <3cm, clinically node- negative

Axillary radiotherapy vs. axillary dissection

Mean age: 50.6yrs vs. 52yrs

Menopausal statuspremenopausal:
205pts vs.186pts,postmenopausal:
127pts vs. 140pts

Martelli, 200524 219 Early breast cancer, clinically negative axillary nodes, tumour size ≤2cm Age 65 to 80 years; median 70yrs
Morgan, 200254 76 Operable (stage I or II) primary breast cancer, tumour grade III, with at least one node involved NR

Overgaard 200725;

Nielson, 200656, 57

3083 High-risk breast cancer patients defined as patients who were node positive and/or a T3 or T4 tumour and/or skin or deep fascia invasion Pre- and postmenopausal
Rudenstam, 200623 473 Clinically node-negative operable breast cancer, tumour size: <2cm 56%, >2cm 42% Age ≥60yrs: median 74yrs (60-91yrs)
Rutqvist, 200658 1226 High-risk breast cancer patients, node-positive disease or a tumour size >30mm Menopausal status: premenopausal 547pts
postmenopausal 679pts
Tominaga, 200319 1209 Breast cancer stage II (T2 N0 or T2 N1a, excluding N1b)

Age:<40yrs: 115pts, 41-50yrs: 447 pts,
51-60yrs: 313pts, 61-70yrs: 253pts,
>71yrs: 71pts

Menopausal status:

premenopausal 567ptspostmenopausal 620pts

Veronesi, 200555 435 Breast cancer with no palpable axillary nodes, tumour size ≤1.2cm (<0.5cm 13.1%, 0.6-1cm 61.4%, 1.1-1.2cm 16.3%, 1.2-1.5cm 9.2%) Age >45yrs (<55yrs 40.2%, 56-65yrs 44.6%, >65yrs 15.2%)

Note: NR = not reported

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