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Ann Oncol. 2008 Nov;19(11):1847-52. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdn395. Epub 2008 Jun 20.

Platinum-based chemotherapy in triple-negative breast cancer.

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  • 1Breast Unit, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.



Experimental data suggest that triple-negative (TN) breast cancer may have increased sensitivity to platinum-based chemotherapy but clinical data are limited. We present our long-term results with platinum-based chemotherapy for TN breast cancer.


In all, 94 (17 TN), 79 (11 TN) and 155 (34 TN) patients receiving platinum-based chemotherapy in neo-adjuvant/adjuvant and advanced setting were included. Response rates and outcome were compared for TN tumours versus others.


Neo-adjuvant complete response rates were significantly higher for TN tumours (88%) than others (51%; P = 0.005). The 5-year overall survival (OS) for TN tumours following adjuvant/neo-adjuvant chemotherapy was 64% [95% confidence interval (CI) 44% to 79%] compared with 85% (95% CI 79% to 90%) for others. Five-year disease-free survival for TN tumours was 57% (95% CI 37% to 73%) compared with 72% (95% CI 64% to 78%) for others. For patients with advanced breast cancer, overall response rates were 41% for TN tumours and 31% for others (P = 0.3). Patients with TN tumours had a significantly prolonged progression-free survival of 6 months compared with 4 months for others (P = 0.05), though the OS was not significantly different between the two groups (11 versus 7 months).


Platinum-based chemotherapy achieves increased response rates for TN tumours, with a trend towards worse survival in early breast cancer through an improved survival in advanced disease. Prospective randomised trials are warranted.

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