Radiotherapy or Surgery of the Axilla After a Positive Sentinel Node in Breast Cancer: 10-Year Results of the Randomized Controlled EORTC 10981-22023 AMAROS Trial

Sanne A. L. Bartels, Mila Donker, Coralie Poncet, Nicolas Sauvé, Marieke E. Straver, Cornelis J. H. van de Velde, Robert E. Mansel, Charlotte Blanken, Lorenzo Orzalesi, Jean H. G. Klinkenbijl, Huub C. J. van der Mijle, Grard A. P. Nieuwenhuijzen, Sanne C. Veltkamp, Thijs van Dalen, Andreas Marinelli, Herman Rijna, Marko Snoj, Nigel J. Bundred, Jos W. S. Merkus, Yazid BelkacemiPatrick Petignat, Dominic A. X. Schinagl, Corneel Coens, Geertjan van Tienhoven, Frederieke van Duijnhoven, Emiel J. T. Rutgers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Clinical trials frequently include multiple end points that mature at different times. The initial report, typically based on the primary end point, may be published when key planned co-primary or secondary analyses are not yet available. Clinical Trial Updates provide an opportunity to disseminate additional results from studies, published in JCO or elsewhere, for which the primary end point has already been reported.PURPOSEThe European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer 10981-22023 AMAROS trial evaluated axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) versus axillary radiotherapy (ART) in patients with cT1-2, node-negative breast cancer and a positive sentinel node (SN) biopsy. At 5 years, both modalities showed excellent and comparable axillary control, with significantly less morbidity after ART. We now report the preplanned 10-year analysis of the axillary recurrence rate (ARR), overall survival (OS), and disease-free survival (DFS), and an updated 5-year analysis of morbidity and quality of life.METHODSIn this open-label multicenter phase III noninferiority trial, 4,806 patients underwent SN biopsy; 1,425 were node-positive and randomly assigned to either ALND (n = 744) or ART (n = 681).RESULTSPer intention-to-treat analysis, 10-year ARR cumulative incidence was 0.93% (95% CI, 0.18 to 1.68; seven events) after ALND and 1.82% (95% CI, 0.74 to 2.94; 11 events) after ART (hazard ratio [HR], 1.71; 95% CI, 0.67 to 4.39). There were no differences in OS (HR, 1.17; 95% CI, 0.89 to 1.52) or DFS (HR, 1.19; 95% CI, 0.97 to 1.46). ALND was associated with a higher lymphedema rate in updated 5-year analyses (24.5% v 11.9%; P <.001). Quality-of-life scales did not differ by treatment through 5 years. Exploratory analysis showed a 10-year cumulative incidence of second primary cancers of 12.1% (95% CI, 9.6 to 14.9) after ART and 8.3% (95% CI, 6.3 to 10.7) after ALND.CONCLUSIONThis 10-year analysis confirms a low ARR after both ART and ALND with no difference in OS, DFS, and locoregional control. Considering less arm morbidity, ART is preferred over ALND for patients with SN-positive cT1-2 breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2159-2165
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology
Issue number12
Early online date16 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2023

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