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Cancer. 2006 Oct 1;107(7):1459-66.

Development and validation of nomograms for predicting residual tumor size and the probability of successful conservative surgery with neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer.

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Department of Breast Medical Oncology, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.



Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) increases the likelihood that breast conservation therapy for breast cancer patients will be successful. There is no available nomogram to predict breast conservation after NACT. The aim of the current study was to develop and validate nomograms for predicting residual tumor size and probability of a patient becoming eligible for breast conservation surgery after NACT.


A total of 1147 patients treated at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, TX) and the Institut Gustave Roussy (Villejuif, France) who received anthracycline with or without paclitaxel NACT were included in the analysis. Clinicopathologic data from 1 series were used to construct logistic regression models for breast conservation and residual tumor size < 3 cm after NACT and were validated on an independent series.


The discrimination and the calibration of the nomogram for predicting the probability of residual tumor size < 3 cm after anthracycline-based NACT were good when applied to the validation set (concordance index = 0.79; U-index = 10(-3)). The discrimination of the nomogram for predicting eligibility for breast conservation therapy was also good (concordance index = 0.67). However, the calibration had to be adjusted to take into account global rates of breast conservation surgery. A second nomogram adapted to preoperative chemotherapy regimens containing paclitaxel was established. The concordance index of the nomogram for predicting breast conservation was 0.71 (P < 10(-6)) for the independent dataset and the calibration was also good. The confrontation of both nomograms showed that predictions were highly correlated (r = 0.97), suggesting that eligibility for breast conservation therapy was independent of the preoperative chemotherapy regimen used.


Nomograms were developed for breast cancer patients who received NACT to predict residual tumor size and whether the patient would thus become eligible for breast conservation therapy. These tools may be useful when counseling patients about treatment options, and a web-based interface is now available to help guide patients and physicians in these decisions.

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