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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 32

of 'Adjuvant chemotherapy for HER2-negative breast cancer'

Does timing of adjuvant chemotherapy for early breast cancer influence survival?
Shannon C, Ashley S, Smith IE
J Clin Oncol. 2003;21(20):3792.
PURPOSE: Theoretically, patients with early breast cancer might benefit from starting adjuvant chemotherapy soon after surgery, and this would have important clinical implications. We have addressed this question from a large, single-center database in which the majority of patients received anthracyclines.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 1161 patients from a prospectively maintained database treated with adjuvant chemotherapy for early breast cancer at the Royal Marsden Hospital (London, United Kingdom), including 686 (59%) receiving anthracyclines, were retrospectively analyzed. The disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) of the 368 patients starting chemotherapy within 21 days of surgery (group A) were compared with those of the 793 patients commencing chemotherapy>or= 21 days after surgery (group B). Median follow-up time was 39 months (range, 12 to 147 months).
RESULTS: No significant difference in 5-year DFS was found between the two groups overall (70% for group A v 72% for group B; P =.4) or in any subgroup. Likewise, there was no difference in 5-year OS (82% for group A v 84% for group B; P =.2) or when the interval to the start of chemotherapy was considered as a continuous variable (P =.4).
CONCLUSION: We have been unable to identify any significant survival benefit from starting adjuvant chemotherapy early after surgery, either overall or in any subset of patients.
Breast Unity, Royal Marsden Hospital, United Kingdom.