3 years ago

Sentinel Lymph Nodes in Classic Invasive Lobular Carcinoma of the Breast: Cytokeratin Immunostain Ensures Detection, and Precise Determination of Extent, of Involvement

Sentinel Lymph Nodes in Classic Invasive Lobular Carcinoma of the Breast: Cytokeratin Immunostain Ensures Detection, and Precise Determination of Extent, of Involvement
Cheng, Esther, Patel, Ami, Hoda, Syed A., D’Alfonso, Timothy
The assessment of sentinel lymph nodes (SLN) on hematoxylin and eosin (H&E)–stained sections in cases of classic type of invasive lobular carcinoma (cILC) is considered unreliable, particularly in cases with minimal involvement, that is by either isolated tumor cells (pN0i+) or micrometastases (pN1mi). Although the impact of minimal SLN involvement has been shown to be insignificant in most clinical trials (even though cILC was either under-represented or not separated in the respective cohorts), the results of MIRROR trial did emphasize the need for additional therapy in cases with minimally involved SLN to ensure improved disease-free survival. We sought to study the role of cytokeratin immunohistochemistry (CK-IHC) in evaluating SLN in cILC. A total of 582 cILC cases with SLN diagnosed over a 12-year period (2005 to 2016) were reviewed. In all, 394/582 (68%) cases had H&E(−)/CK(−) SLN. In total, 188/582 (32%) cases showed some degree of SLN involvement of which 143/582 (25%) cases had readily identifiable SLN involvement on H&E slides. Overall, 45/582 (7.7%) cases had H&E(−)/CK(+) SLN. The following data relate to the latter subset of 45 cases. Mean age of patients: 61 y (range: 32 to 86 y); right: 24 (53%), left: 21 (47%); multifocal and/or multicentric: 22 (49%); mean size: 2.0 cm (range: 0.25 to 4.4 cm); mean number of SLN: 2.5; mean number of involved SLN: 1.2; and cases with prior needle core or excisional biopsy: 45 (100%). CK(+) cells were identified in isolation or in loose clusters, either in subcapsular sinuses or nodal cortex or both. Overall, 30/45 (67%) showed ≤200 CK(+) cells (ie, pN0i+), and 15/45 (33%) showed >200 CK(+) cells (ie, pN1mi). In total, 15/45 (33%) cases underwent axillary lymph node dissection, of which 4/45 (9%) cases were positive. cILC recurred in 3/45 (7%) cases. On statistical analyses, the number of CK(+) cells (≤/>200) did not correlate with either axillary lymph node-positivity or with recurrence. Number of CK(+) cells (≤/>200) readily distinguished pN0i+ from pN1mi based on AJCC’s numerical criteria. CK(+) cells could be quantified in linear terms (ie, AJCC’s size criteria of pN0i+ and pN1mi was applicable) in only 2 cases. On the basis of these findings, the use of CK-IHC staining should be considered for SLN in cases of cILC to ensure detection, and precise determination of extent, of involvement; however, the prognostic significance of this procedure would have to await results of additional studies with long-term follow-up.
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