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22.12.2017 | review | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

memo - Magazine of European Medical Oncology 1/2018

My burning issues in the neoadjuvant treatment for breast cancer

memo - Magazine of European Medical Oncology > Ausgabe 1/2018
Elisabeth S. Bergen, Rupert Bartsch


A combination of anthracyclines and taxanes remains the standard of care for neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) resulting in increased breast conservation rate (BCR) and decreased recurrence rate [1]. Whether pathological complete response (pCR) could be an appropriate surrogate parameter for long-term survival is still a matter of debate. In patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) and HER2-positive breast cancer (BC), a six to nine times higher risk for relapse has been reported if no pCR was achieved [2, 3]. Within these aggressive subtypes the strongest association between pCR and long-term outcome could be observed [4]. However, a pooled analysis of recently conducted trials could only identify pCR as a surrogate endpoint for improved event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) on an individual patient level as opposed to the trial level [5]. Even in TNBC, demonstrating that an increased pCR converts into a significant survival benefit would require a study population markedly larger than calculated for previously conducted trials [6, 7].

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