In the past year, the results of the third Oxford Overview and recommendations from the St. Gallen International Consensus Panel on adjuvant treatment for breast cancer were published. Reports of trials addressing the role of anthracyclines and taxanes, as well as the optimal dosing schedule for cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and 5-fluorouracil, also appeared. Data show that primary therapy increases the rate of breast conservation but not survival rates. The initial results of trials of high-dose chemotherapy with autologous hematopoietic support have been mixed. The usefulness of sentinel node biopsy in minimizing surgical morbidity and of biologic markers in predicting response to adjuvant therapy are areas of active research.
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