Breast Cancer A011202

Patients will be assigned by chance to this phase III trial comparing axillary lymph node dissection to axillary radiation in breast cancer patients who have positive sentinel lymph node disease after neoadjuvant (the administration of therapeutic agents before a main treatment) chemotherapy.

This randomized phase III trial studies axillary lymph node dissection to see how well it works compared to axillary radiation therapy in treating patients with node-positive breast cancer treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgery. Lymph node dissection may remove cancer cells that have spread to nearby lymph nodes in patients with breast cancer. Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to kill tumor cells. This study will evaluate whether radiation therapy is as effective as lymph node dissection.

Eligibility Criteria

There must be no signs of inflammatory breast cancer, and no other malignancies within 5 years of registration with the exception of basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma of the skin treated with local resection only or carcinoma in situ of the cervix

All patients must have had an axillary ultrasound with fine needle aspiration (FNA a thin needle is inserted into an area of abnormal-appearing tissue or body fluid) or core needle biopsy (the procedure to remove a small amount of suspicious tissue) of axillary lymph nodes documenting axillary metastasis at the time of diagnosis, prior to or at most 14 days after starting neoadjuvant) chemotherapy.

This study is for patients age 18 and older.

Available at: Hartford Hospital, the Hospital of Central Connecticut

Cancer Clinical Research Office