Up to 15% of women with breast cancer have locally advanced disease at diagnosis. The poor response of these patients to local therapy alone and the frequent development of disseminated disease suggest that early intensive systemic therapy may benefit these women. Twenty-four patients with non-metastatic, locally advanced, primarily inflammatory, inoperable breast cancer were treated with a 16-week dose-intense chemotherapy regimen as induction therapy. Treatment consisted of 8 repetitive 2-week cycles consisting of 100 mg/m2 cyclophosphamide orally D1-7, 40 mg/m2 doxorubicin intravenously (IV) D1, 1 mg vincristine IV D1, 100 mg/m2 methotrexate IV D1, 10 mg/m2 leucovorin every 6 hours for six oral doses D2-3, and 600 mg/m2 5-FU IV over 2 hours D2. A continuous infusion of 300 mg/m2 5-FU per day was given IV D8-9 of each 2-week cycle. After induction all patients had at least a partial clinical response and were operable; 9/24 (37%) achieved a clinical complete response. All patients underwent at least a simple mastectomy. Pathologic examination revealed no evidence of gross macroscopic tumor in 11/24 patients (46%) and no evidence of microscopic disease in 4/24 patients (17%). Seven of 24 patients (29%) had no microscopic disease in the breast. At a median follow-up of 45 months, there have been 10 relapses in the 24 patients treated with this induction regimen. The actuarial relapse-free survival at 5 years is 58%. Actuarial overall survival at 5 years is 75%. We conclude that this regimen is safe and well-tolerated and that the results of this therapy are sufficiently promising to warrant further study of this regimen in patients with locally advanced breast cancer.
- breast cancer
- inflammatory breast cancer
- locally advanced breast cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research