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Am J Surg. 2013 Jul;206(1):2-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2012.10.025. Epub 2013 Jan 31.

The response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy predicts clinical outcome and increases breast conservation in advanced breast cancer.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, 200 Hawkins Drive, 1516 JCP, Iowa City, IA 52242-1086, USA.



The aim of this study was to determine outcomes in patients with breast cancer treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy.


Seventy-two consecutive patients receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer were enrolled.


Mastectomy was avoided in 46% of patients, and 42% converted to negative nodes after neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Thirteen patients (18%) achieved a pathologic complete response, which was associated with the estrogen receptor (ER)-negative/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (Her2)-negative subtype (58%) and was significantly less likely to occur in the ER+/Her2- subtype (2%) (P < .01). Patients with the ER+/Her2+ subtype were most likely to have no response or progression during chemotherapy, compared with those with the ER-/Her2- subtype (50% vs 0%, P = .01). Five-year survival for patients achieving a pathologic complete response was 100%, compared with 74% in the group with partial response and 48% in the group with no response or progression (P = .01).


Neoadjuvant chemotherapy for patients with advanced breast cancer provided prognostic information, allowed evaluation of response to chemotherapy, decreased the mastectomy rate, and potentially reduced the need for axillary lymph node dissection.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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