Author(s): Schwartz GF, Birchansky CA, Komarnicky LT, Mansfield CM, Cantor RI,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Few women with locally advanced breast cancer remain disease-free, even for 2 years. Response to induction chemotherapy may be associated with longer disease-free and overall survival rates. The role of breast conservation in selected patients with response to induction chemotherapy was evaluated. METHODS: Since 1979, patients with Stages IIB and III breast cancer have undergone induction chemotherapy; patients with response continued chemotherapy until a plateau of regression was achieved. Before 1983, all patients having a response to chemotherapy underwent mastectomy; since 1983, selected patients have undergone breast conservation. Outcomes were tallied comparing these two groups of patients. RESULTS: The study group included 189 women, who were followed up for 12-159 months (median, 46 months) after diagnosis. Of the patients, 85\% had a response to induction chemotherapy. Patients with no response were excluded from additional consideration in this study. One hundred three (64\%) women underwent mastectomy; 55 (36\%) were treated with breast conservation. The disease-free 5-year survival rate was 61\% for all patients with a response to chemotherapy; 56\% for those having mastectomy and 77\% for those having breast conservation. The overall 5-year survival rate was 69\% for all patients with a response to chemotherapy, 67\% for those undergoing mastectomy and 80\% for those having breast conservation. CONCLUSIONS: Induction chemotherapy achieves significant tumor regression in most women with locally advanced breast cancer, permitting subsequent breast conservation or mastectomy with a greater expectation of long-term success. Breast conservation is used more frequently with the same expectation of success as mastectomy, presuming careful selection based on response to chemotherapy.
This article was published in Cancer
and referenced in Pediatrics & Therapeutics