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Ann Surg Oncol. 2016 Jan;23(1):51-7. doi: 10.1245/s10434-015-4603-3. Epub 2015 May 16.

Differences in Response and Surgical Management with Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in Invasive Lobular Versus Ductal Breast Cancer.

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Department of Surgery, Máxima Medical Centre, Veldhoven, The Netherlands.
Department of Surgery, Catharina Hospital, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
Department of Research, Netherlands Comprehensive Cancer Organization IKNL, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Department of Surgery, Máxima Medical Centre, Veldhoven, The Netherlands.
Department of Medical Oncology, GROW-School for Oncology and Developmental Biology, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Department of Epidemiology, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, The Netherlands.



This study was conducted to determine the impact of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) on the likelihood of breast-conserving surgery (BCS) performed for patients with invasive lobular breast carcinoma (ILC) and invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC).


Female patients with a diagnosis of ILC or IDC in The Netherlands between July 2008 and December 2012 were identified through the population-based Netherlands Cancer Registry.


A total of 466 ILC patients received NAC compared with 3622 IDC patients. Downstaging by NAC was seen in 49.7 % of the patients with ILC and in 69.6 % of the patients with IDC, and a pathologic complete response (pCR) was observed in 4.9 and 20.2 % of these patients, respectively (P < 0.0001). Breast-conserving surgery was performed for 24.4 % of the patients with ILC receiving NAC versus 39.4 % of the patients with IDC. In the ILC group, 8.2 % of the patients needed surgical reinterventions after BCS due to tumor-positive resection margins compared with 3.4 % of the patients with IDC (P < 0.0001). Lobular histology was independently associated with a higher mastectomy rate (odds ratio 1.91; 95 % confidence interval 1.49-2.44). Among the patients with clinical T2 and T3 disease, BCS was achieved more often when NAC was administered in ILC as well as IDC.


The patients with ILC receiving NAC were less likely to experience a pCR and less likely to undergo BCS than the patients with IDC. With regard to BCS, the impact of NAC for ILC patients was lower than for patients receiving surgery without NAC. However, despite the high number to treating in order to achieve BCS, a small subset of ILC patients, especially cT2 and cT3 patients, still may benefit from NAC.

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