Tailoring neoadjuvant chemotherapy for locally advanced breast cancer: A historical prospective study

Alona Zer*, Shulamit Rizel, Rony Braunstein, Rinat Yerushalmi, Daniel Hendler, Victoria Neimann, Noa Cioreuru, Aaron Sulkes, Salomon M. Stemmer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Despite the growing number of clinical trials assessing preoperative systemic chemotherapy (PST) for locally advanced breast cancer, the optimal regimen has still to be defined. Purpose: This was to evaluate the toxicity, operability rate, pathological response rate and disease-free and overall survival associated with a PST regimen consisting of the sequential administration of single agents according to the individual tumor response. Methods: Medical files were reviewed of 102 consecutive patients with breast cancer treated in 2000-2007 with a neoadjuvant sequential regimen of doxorubicin followed by taxane. The number of cycles and the addition of taxane were based on tumor response. Results: Seventy percent of the patients had inoperable disease at diagnosis and 29% were given preoperative therapy for breast conservation. All patients underwent surgery, 65% achieved breast conservation. An overall pathological complete response (breast and nodes) was achieved in 14% of the patients, and a complete nodal pathologic response in 34%. At a median follow-up of 54 months, the overall survival rate was 82% and the disease-free survival rate was 70%. There was no treatment-related mortality. Febrile neutropenia occurred in 19% of the patients. Conclusions: A neoadjuvant regimen of doxorubicin with or without a sequential taxane, in which the number of cycles and the sequential administration of taxane are determined according to clinical response, appears to be safe and effective for patients with locally advanced breast cancer and yields a high rate of breast conservation. Tailored PST can spare patients receiving unnecessary chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-101
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Breast cancer
  • Doxorubicin
  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy
  • Taxanes


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