The efficacy of combined chemotherapy and radiotherapy in advanced non-metastatic breast cancer

John Boyages*, Allan O. Langlands

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Thirty-five patients with locally advanced (inoperable) breast cancer have been treated based on a regimen of chemotherapy-radiotherapy-chemotherapy. At the completion of all treatment a complete remission rate of 86% was achieved with acceptable toxicity. At a median follow-up of 24 months (range 4-60), relapse at the site of bulk disease occurred in 17% (10% isolated loco-regional relapse) and relapse at distant sites in 34%. The median relapse-free survival was 36 months and the median survival has not yet been reached. Following initial promising results in terms of loco-regional disease control in this group of high-risk patients, the protocol was extended to include 34 patients defined as having locally extensive disease. All patients in this subgroup had undergone a modified radical mastectomy and were categorized as (a) patients in whom the pre-operative clinical findings merited (in our opinion) inclusion in the category of locally advanced (inoperable) disease, (b) patients in whom the primary was operable but in whom extensive involvement of axillary nodes was found (>10 nodes positive or ≥70% nodes positive if less than 10 nodes found) and (c) patients without the above characteristics with a primary tumor >8 cm. At a median follow-up of 23 months (range 4-48), loco-regional recurrence occurred in one patient (3%) but distant relapse occurred in 21%. Relapse-free and overall survival was not significantly different to that found in patients with locally advanced disease who did not undergo mastectomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Combined modality treatment
  • Local control
  • Locally advanced/extensive breast cancer
  • Mastectomy
  • Survival


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