Currently, women with early breast cancer that has spread to the first one or two sentinel lymph nodes undergo axillary node clearance or radiotherapy to the axilla. Treatment in the axilla damages lymphatic drainage from the arm and women can subsequently develop lymphoedema, restricted shoulder movement, pain, numbness, and other sensory problems. As breast cancer is now detected earlier, and more effective chemotherapy and hormone therapy are available, axillary treatment might no longer be necessary.
In the POSNOC trial the researchers want to compare women who have treatment to the lymph nodes in their armpit with women who don’t.
The aims of the trial are to find out:
- If treatment to the lymph nodes in the armpit is necessary
- More about the side effects of having treatment to the lymph nodes in the armpit
- How treatment to the lymph nodes in the armpit affects women’s quality of life.
Women aged 18 years or older with unifocal or multifocal invasive breast cance, largest invasive primary lesion ≤5cm, who have one or two nodes with macrometastases (tumour deposit >2.0mm in largest dimension or defined as macrometastasis on molecular assay) at sentinel node biopsy, with or without extranodal extension.
For further information about the POSNOC trial please visit the website here.