Part of the
Current Clinical Oncology
book series (CCO)
Primary chemotherapy of breast cancer refers to the use of chemotherapy before definitive local treatment. Other synonymous terms include preoperative chemotherapy, neoadjuvant chemotherapy, induction chemotherapy, and upfront chemotherapy. Beginning in the early 1970s, primary chemotherapy has been explored to improve local control and survival in women with large breast tumors or inflammatory breast cancer. Primary chemotherapy produced regression of breast cancer in 60–90% of women (1) and made a significant impact on survival in inflammatory and locally advanced disease. Although primary chemotherapy was incorporated into standard treatment algorithms for select tumors such as Ewing’s sarcoma, and carcinomas, and locally advanced and inflammatory breast cancer, its role in the treatment of resectable breast cancer is undefined. The rationale, benefits, and disadvantages of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in the treatment of operable breast cancer with a primary focus on the randomized clinical trials examining this modality are reviewed here. Recommendations on critical questions and potential future directions in this modality are addressed.
KeywordsBreast Cancer Breast Conservation Operable Breast Cancer Primary Chemotherapy National Surgical Adjuvant Breast
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