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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2013 Sep;141(2):255-9. doi: 10.1007/s10549-013-2682-z. Epub 2013 Sep 13.

Neoadjuvant bevacizumab: surgical complications of mastectomy with and without reconstruction.

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Brigham and Women's Hopspital, Boston, MA, USA,


Neoadjuvant therapy (NAC) is commonly used in operable breast cancer. Previous studies have suggested a high rate of postoperative complications after NAC. We prospectively evaluated the surgical complications in a cohort of patients who underwent mastectomy following neoadjuvant adriamycin/cytoxan/taxol (AC/T) plus bevacizumab (bev) and compared the rate of complications to a matched cohort of neoadjuvant AC/T without bev. One hundred patients with HER2-negative breast cancer enrolled in a single-arm trial of neoadjuvant AC/T plus bev (cohort 1), 60 of these patients underwent mastectomy and were matched with 59 patients who received standard neoadjuvant AC/T (cohort 2) over a similar time period in the same healthcare system. All patients underwent mastectomy with or without reconstruction. Fisher's exact tests were used to compare complication rates, with p < 0.05 considered significant. Patients were matched well in terms of demographics. The overall complication rate was 32 % in cohort 1 and 31 % in cohort 2 (p value = 1, Table 1). In cohort 1, 7 of 23 (30 %) patients who underwent immediate expander/implant reconstruction had complications, including 2 patients who had explantation of their reconstructions. In cohort 2, 0 of 8 (0 %) had complications (p value = 0.15). Nearly a third of patients undergoing NAC with AC/T with or without bev developed a postoperative complication after mastectomy. The use of bev was not associated with a significant increase in surgical complications, although this is a nonrandomized data set with a small sample size. As larger data sets become available with the use of neoadjuvant bevacizumab with mastectomy, further refinement may be necessary.

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