Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in Stage III Breast Cancer

Alassas, Mohamed; Quyen Chu; Burton, Gary; Ampil, Fred; Mizell, Jason; Li, Benjamin D.
June 2005
American Surgeon;Jun2005, Vol. 71 Issue 6, p487
Academic Journal
Neoadjuvanl chemotherapy in advanced breast cancer can potentially downstage disease prior to definitive surgery. In this study, a doxorubicin-based neoadjuvant regimen was administered to stage III breast cancer patients to assess 1) primary tumor response, 2) tumor involvement of resection margins, and 3) predictive value in cancer outcome. Eighty-two patients with stage IIIA and IIIB breast cancer diagnosed between 1990 and 2003 were studied. All patients received similar chemotherapy regimens, consisting of doxorubicin, cisplatin, and 5-fluorouracil, plus surgery and radiation therapy. End points measured include primary tumor response [complete response (CR) = 100%, partial response (PR) >50%, or no response (NR) ≤50%], resection margins for tumor, disease-free, and overall survival. Kaplan-Meier and log-rank tests were performed. Of the 82 patients studied, 34 received neoadjuvant therapy, 48 received conventional postoperative treatment. Seventy-two per cent of the stage IIIB and 22 per cent of the stage IIIA patients received neoadjuvant therapy. In the neoadjuvant group, 29 (85%) patients demonstrated tumor response, 9 (26%) of which were CR. Tumor-free resection margins were achieved in 94 per cent of the neoadjuvant group. Survival analysis demonstrated no benefit comparing neoadjuvant versus postoperative adjuvant therapy but hints at improved disease-free survival in neoadjuvant CR patients (log-rank test, P = 0.07). Eighty-five per cent of patients with stage III breast cancer treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy experienced clinical response, with 26 per cent CR, and 97 per cent tumor-free resection margins. CR may portend a better cancer outcome.


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