• breast cancer;
  • primary systemic therapy;
  • inflammatory breast cancer;
  • locally advanced breast cancer;
  • taxanes;
  • anthracylines;
  • CMF regimen



This study was performed to evaluate the outcomes of patients with locally advanced breast cancer (LABC) who were treated with a multidisciplinary approach including primary systemic chemotherapy and noncross-resistant adjuvant chemotherapy.


Patients with LABC received 4 or 6 cycles of doxorubicin and docetaxel (DT) as primary systemic chemotherapy (PST) every 21 days. Patients with adequate response underwent surgery followed by adjuvant chemotherapy according to pathologic response: complete (pCR), 2 more cycles of DT; partial (pPR), 2 more cycles of DT followed by 6 cycles of cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) (CMF); and minor (pMR), 6 cycles of CMF. Patients then received radiation and tamoxifen (hormone receptor-positive patients only).


Eighty-eight patients were evaluable. Seventy-four patients had an adequate response to DT and were considered operable, and 72 underwent surgery. Ten patients (13.9%) achieved a pCR, 22 (30.5%) achieved a pPR, and 40 achieved a pMR (55.5%). Fourteen patients were considered nonoperable after DT and underwent salvage CMF therapy. Five of these patients underwent surgery and 1 had achieved a pCR. The estimated 5-year recurrence-free survival (RFS) rates for patients with pCR, pPR, and pMR were 80%, 77%, and 59%, respectively, and the estimated 5-year overall survival (OS) rates were 90%, 91%, and 74%, respectively. The 5-year OS rates were 82% for initially operable and 21% for initially inoperable patients (P ≤ .001)


Multidisciplinary therapy that includes PST with DT and adjuvant therapy with CMF administered according to the clinical and pathologic response is associated with high long-term RFS and OS rates in patients with LABC. Clinical or pathologic PR or CR to DT predicts improved RFS and OS. Cancer 2010. Published 2010 by the American Cancer Society.