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Surgical considerations for breast-conserving therapy in patients undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy for early-stage breast cancer

G. V. Babiera a1c1
a1 Department of Surgical Oncology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Article author query
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According to the National Cancer Comprehensive Network guidelines patients with breast tumours [less-than-or-equal]1 cm should be offered systemic therapy. Multiple studies, however, have demonstrated no survival advantage between giving chemotherapy before (neoadjuvant) or after (adjuvant) surgery. There are, however, certain benefits that can be derived from patients who undergo neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Such benefits include better stratification of the patient's prognosis based on tumour and nodal response, and converting patients from mastectomy-only candidates to breast-conserving surgery candidates. Due to these advantages, many patients with early-stage breast cancer will undergo neoadjuvant chemotherapy and the surgical issues must be considered for patients who are treated in such a manner to guarantee optimal outcomes. Issues that will be discussed are the surgical preoperative evaluation, extent and timing of local resection of both the breast and regional nodes and finally, the potential future effects of this multi-modality therapy.

(Received October 21 2004)
(Accepted December 16 2004)
(BCO Pub date February 28 2005)

Key Words: Breast cancer; Neoadjuvant chemotherapy; Breast-conserving surgery.

c1 Correspondence to: G. V. Babiera, M.D, Department of Surgical Oncology, Unit 444, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030, USA. Tel: +1 713 745 1563; Fax: +1 713 745 4926