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Utilization of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in high-risk, node-negative early breast cancer.

BACKGROUND: Controversy exists regarding the optimal sequence of chemotherapy among women with operable node-negative breast cancers with high-risk tumor biology. We evaluated national patterns of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) use among women with early-stage HER2+, triple-negative (TNBC), and high-risk hormone receptor-positive (HR+) invasive breast cancers. METHODS: Women ≥18 years with cT1-2/cN0 HER2+, TNBC, or high recurrence risk score (≥31) HR+ invasive breast cancers who received chemotherapy were identified in the National Cancer Database (2010-2016). Cochran-Armitage and logistic regression examined temporal trends and likelihood of undergoing NACT versus adjuvant chemotherapy based on patient age and molecular subtype. RESULTS: Overall, 96,622 patients met study criteria; 25% received NACT and 75% underwent surgery first, with comparable 5-year estimates of overall survival (0.90, 95% CI 0.892-0.905 vs 0.91, 95% CI 0.907-0.913). During the study period, utilization of NACT increased from 14% to 36% and varied according to molecular subtype (year*molecular subtype p < 0.001, p-corrected < 0.001). Women with HER2+ (OR 4.17, 95% CI 3.70-4.60, p < 0.001, p-corrected < 0.001) and TNBC (OR 3.81, 95% CI 3.38-4.31, p < 0.001, p-corrected < 0.001) were more likely to receive NACT over time, without a change in use among those with HR+ disease (OR 1.58, 95% CI 0.88-2.87, p = 0.13, p-corrected = 0.17). CONCLUSION: Among women with early-stage triple-negative and HER2+ breast cancers, utilization of NACT increased over time, a trend that correlates with previously reported improved rates of pCR and options post-neoadjuvant treatment with residual disease. Future research is needed to better understand multidisciplinary decisions for NACT and implications for breast cancer patients.


Prakash, Ipshita, N Ben Neely, Samantha M. Thomas, Sarah Sammons, Rachel C. Blitzblau, Gayle A. DiLalla, Terry Hyslop, et al. “Utilization of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in high-risk, node-negative early breast cancer.” Cancer Med, January 5, 2022.

Published Date: 
Wednesday, January 5, 2022
Published In: 
Cancer Medicine