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Long-term Follow-up of Breast-conserving Therapy in Patients with Inflammatory Breast Cancer Treated with Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy


Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer. Currently, multimodality treatment is recommended, but the optimal surgical management has not been fully elucidated. In this study, we investigated the long-term outcomes of using breast-conserving therapy in patients with IBC undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC). Twenty-four patients with IBC were treated from 2002 to 2006. NAC was initiated with doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide followed by paclitaxel. In addition, HER2/neu-positive patients received trastuzumab, whereas HER2/neu-negative patients received bevacizumab. Clinical response was assessed by dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging before surgery and pathologic response after surgery. A partial mastectomy with sentinel lymph node biopsy and/or axillary lymph node dissection or a modified radical mastectomy was performed based on the surgeon's recommendations and patient's preference. All patients received adjuvant radiation. Of the 24 patients, seven (29%) underwent a partial mastectomy and 17 (71%) underwent a mastectomy. The overall survival rate for partial mastectomy and for mastectomy patients was 59 and 57 per cent (P = 0.49), respectively, at a median follow-up of 60 months (range, 48 to 92 months). Breast-conserving therapy can be considered in a selected group of patients who demonstrate a good response to NAC.

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