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Curr Opin Oncol. 1999 Nov;11(6):468-74.

Systemic therapy.

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The Johns Hopkins Oncology Center, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21287, USA.


New data continue to refine our knowledge of systemic therapy for breast cancer. These include the third Oxford Overview on adjuvant systemic therapy, a small advantage of anthracycline regimens over CMF (cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and 5-fluorouracil), and renewed interest in the "classic CMF" regimen. Primary chemotherapy offers a greater chance of breast conservation (although no survival advantage), and tamoxifen also benefits women with noninvasive disease. New data are available on biphosphonates, ovarian ablation, anti-estrogens, anti-HER-2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor-2) antibody, and HER-2 expression as a predictive or prognostic factor. Early results of high-dose chemotherapy have been released, and the role of taxanes in early and advanced disease continues to expand. This article reviews these and other recent advances.

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