Locally advanced breast cancer: Defining an optimum treatment regimen

Verity Ahern, Bruce Barraclough, Carla Bosch, Allan Langlands, John Boyages*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This retrospective review examines response, local control and freedom from distant failure for patients with locally advanced breast cancer treated by chemotherapy and radiotherapy without routine surgery. Methods and Materials: 67 patients were treated between January 1980 and December 1988 at Westmead Hospital, NSW, Australia. Median follow-up for surviving patients was 56 months. Four successive protocols evolved, each with three phases induction chemotherapy (adriamycin or novantrone, cyclophosphamide) (three cycles), radiotherapy then chemotherapy (cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, 5-fluorouracil) of progressively shorter duration. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy were concurrent in the fourth regimen. Results: Clinical complete response (disappearance of all known disease) after chemotherapy, radiotherapy and additional chemotherapy was 18%, 55% and 79% respectively. Seven additional patients subsequently underwent mastectomy (N = 2), local excision (N = 1) or a radiation boost (N = 4) for a total complete response rate of 90%. Twenty one patients (31%) failed to achieve a complete response (N = 7) or recurred locally (N = 14). The crude 2-year rate of local recurrence was 50% for tumors > 10 cm (N = 10) and 14% for smaller tumors (n = 57) and was not influenced by protocol. Two-year actuarial freedom from distant failure was 67% at 2 years. Conclusion: Local control can be achieved for patients with locally advanced breast cancer with a primary tumor < 10 cm using chemotherapy and radiotherapy without routine mastectomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)867-875
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemotherapy
  • Locally advanced breast cancer
  • Radiotherapy


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