Progress in the surgical management of breast cancer: Present and future
Lymph Node Excision
Recognition of differing risks of locoregional recurrence (LRR) in breast cancer patients based on estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and HER2 status, coupled with a reduction in LRR in patients receiving adjuvant systemic therapy, offers the opportunity to tailor surgical treatment and reduce the morbidity of therapy. New guidelines for margins in breast-conserving therapy of tumor not touching ink and avoidance of axillary dissection in sentinel node positive patients undergoing breast-conserving therapy are examples of this approach which have entered practice. Increased use of neoadjuvant therapy offers the opportunity to identify which patients are responsive to chemotherapy prior to surgery, potentially allowing further tailoring of treatment, and ongoing clinical trials will address the question of the extent of axillary surgery and radiotherapy after neoadjuvant therapy in patients with and without pathologic complete response.