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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2003 Apr 1;55(5):1200-8.

Ten-year outcome after combined modality therapy for inflammatory breast cancer.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.



To evaluate the long-term outcome of combined modality therapy for inflammatory breast cancer.


The data from 54 women treated between 1983 and 1996 for inflammatory breast cancer were analyzed. Patients with metastatic disease or disease progression on induction chemotherapy were excluded. Induction chemotherapy was given to 52 patients. Mastectomy was performed in 52 patients. Radiotherapy was delivered to the breast or chest wall and regional lymph nodes in all patients. The median follow-up for all patients was 5.1 years.


The 5- and 10-year overall survival rate was 56% and 35%, respectively; the corresponding relapse-free survival rates were 49% and 34%. Patients with a pathologic complete response after chemotherapy with or without preoperative radiotherapy had better 5- and 10-year overall survival rates (65% and 46%, respectively) and 5- and 10-year relapse-free survival rates (59% and 50%, respectively) compared with patients without a pathologic complete response. Those patients had a 5- and 10-year relapse-free survival rate of 45% and 27%, respectively. Locoregional failure at 5 and 10 years was 8% and 19%, respectively.


The outcomes for patients completing multimodality therapy compare favorably with published data; however, the exclusion of patients with progression during induction chemotherapy may account in part for these results. The pathologic complete response rate was found to be an important prognostic factor. Selected patients with inflammatory breast cancer have the potential for long-term survival.

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