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Ann Oncol. 2013 Mar;24(3):655-61. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mds493. Epub 2012 Oct 26.

Correlation between response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy and survival in locally advanced breast cancer patients.

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Medical Oncology Department, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria, Hospital Clínico San Carlos, 28040 Madrid.



Measurement of residual disease following neoadjuvant chemotherapy that accurately predicts long-term survival in locally advanced breast cancer (LABC) is an essential requirement for clinical trials development. Several methods to assess tumor response have been described. However, the agreement between methods and correlation with survival in independent cohorts has not been reported.


We report survival and tumor response according to the measurement of residual breast cancer burden (RCB), the Miller and Payne classification and the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) criteria, in 151 LABC patients. Kappa Cohen's coefficient (К) was used to test the agreement between methods. We assessed the correlation between the treatment outcome and overall survival (OS) and relapse-free survival (RFS) by calculating Harrell's C-statistic (c).


The agreement between Miller and Payne classification and RCB classes was very high (К = 0.82). In contrast, we found a moderate-to-fair agreement between the Miller and Payne classification and RECIST criteria (К = 0.52) and RCB classes and RECIST criteria (К = 0.38). The adjusted C-statistic to predict OS for RCB index (0.77) and RCB classes (0.75) was superior to that of RECIST criteria (0.69) (P = 0.007 and P = 0.035, respectively). Also, RCB index (c = 0.71), RCB classes (c = 0.71) and Miller and Payne classification (c = 0.67) predicted better RFS than RECIST criteria (c = 0.61) (P = 0.005, P = 0.006 and P = 0.028, respectively).


The pathological assessment of tumor response might provide stronger prognostic information in LABC patients.

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