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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 4

of 'General principles of neoadjuvant therapy for breast cancer'

Is there still a role for neoadjuvant therapy in breast cancer?
Shannon C, Smith I
Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2003;45(1):77.
The role of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in locally advanced breast cancer is firmly established. There is now also an emerging role for neoadjuvant systemic therapy in the treatment of operable breast cancer. There is good evidence that the chances of breast conserving surgery can be increased with this approach and results of randomised studies indicate that survival is at least as good with neoadjuvant as with adjuvant chemotherapy. Similar clinical data are emerging with neoadjuvant endocrine therapy. For the future, there are important potential advantages in having an in vivo measure of chemosensitivity rather than blindly treating micrometastatic disease in the adjuvant setting. Clinical response to neoadjuvant treatment, and in particular complete pathological response, are predictors of subsequent outcome. Pathological involvement of axillary nodes following neoadjuvant therapy portends a poor prognosis. The potential for biological surrogate markers of response to predict for long-term outcome may allow individualisation of systemic treatment and the rapid assessment of new drugs in early breast cancer.
Breast Unit, Royal Marsden NHS Trust, Fulham Road, London SW3 6JJ, UK.