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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1990 Nov;19(5):1207-10.

Alternating radiotherapy and chemotherapy in non-metastatic inflammatory breast cancer.

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  • 1Institut Gustave-Roussy, Villejuif, France.


Ninety-nine patients presenting with non-metastatic inflammatory breast cancer were treated with an alternating protocol of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The alternating schedule consisted of 8 courses of combined chemotherapy, including doxorubicin, vincristine, cyclophosphamide, methotrexate and 5-Fluorouracil, and 3 series of loco-regional radiotherapy delivering a total dose of 65 to 75 Gy to the breast tumor, 65 Gy to the axilla, and 50 Gy to the supraclavicular and internal mammary chain lymph nodes. Radiotherapy was started after the third course of chemotherapy. A 1-week gap was respected between each course of chemotherapy and each series of radiotherapy. Seventy-five percent of patients were in complete remission at the end of this induction treatment. The 3-year local control was 72% and the 3-year overall survival rate was 70%. An isolated local recurrence was observed in only 4% of patients. Approximately one-half of patients developed distant metastases. These results show that alternating radiotherapy and chemotherapy schedules deserve further investigation in locally advanced breast cancer.

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