Risk Factors for Lymph Node Metastasis in Invasive Breast Cancer

In a study in the Journal of Immunology Research, researchers sought to identify risk factors for axillary lymph node metastasis in patients with invasive breast cancer. According to the investigators, development of vascular tumor thrombi and cancer in the left breast were both risk factors for axillary lymph node metastasis in invasive breast cancer.

The study included 122 retrospective patients with invasive breast cancer who were admitted to the authors’ center between January 2019 and September 2020, of which 40 had axillary lymph node metastasis while the remaining 82 did not.

Researchers compared general demographic factors, imaging factors, lymphovascular invasion (LVI), and expression of Ki-67, estrogen receptor (ER), progestogen receptor (PR), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2) between the groups. Factors which differed in univariate analyses were then assessed in logistic regression models.

Vascular Involvement and Left Side Site Predict Metastasis in Breast Cancer

According to the report, no significant differences were observed in pathological type, clavicular lymph node metastasis, skin chest wall invasion, and rates of HER-2, ER, PR, or Ki-67 positivity between the two groups (P>.05). Imaging parameters from dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging were also comparable, the authors noted.

The axillary lymph node metastasis group did have a significantly higher proportion of LVI compared with the non-metastasis group at 37.50% versus 6.10%, respectively (P<.001). There was also a statistically higher proportion of patients with breast cancer on the left side in the metastasis group at 70.0% compared with 47.56% in the non-metastasis group (P=.019).

In the subsequent binary logistic regression analysis, the authors confirmed that LVI (odds ratio [OR], 12.258; 95% CI, 3.681-40.812; P<.001), and left breast cancer site (OR, 3.598; 95% CI, 1.404-9.219; P=.008) were predictive factors for axillary lymph node metastasis.

In closing, the authors suggested that these factors “might be helpful for preoperative detailed assessment of the patient’s condition” when treating cases of invasive breast cancer.

Read More Recent Studies on the Breast Cancer Resource Center