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Keywords:

  • neoadjuvant chemotherapy;
  • breast reconstruction;
  • breast cancer;
  • mastectomy;
  • postoperative complications

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

With advances in oncologic treatment, cosmesis after mastectomy has assumed a pivotal role in patient and provider decision making. Multiple studies have confirmed the safety of both chemotherapy before breast surgery and immediate reconstruction. Little has been written about the effect of neoadjuvant chemotherapy on decisions about reconstruction.

METHODS:

The authors identified 665 patients with stage I through III breast cancer who received chemotherapy and underwent mastectomy at Dana-Farber/Brigham & Women's Cancer Center from 1997 to 2007. By using multivariate logistic regression, reconstruction rates were compared between patients who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy (n = 180) and patients who underwent mastectomy before chemotherapy (n = 485). The rate of postoperative complications after mastectomy was determined for patients who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy compared with those who did not.

RESULTS:

Reconstruction was performed immediately in 44% of patients who did not receive neoadjuvant chemotherapy but in only 23% of those who did. Twenty-one percent of neoadjuvant chemotherapy recipients and 14% of adjuvant-only chemotherapy recipients underwent delayed reconstruction. After controlling for age, receipt of radiotherapy, and disease stage, neoadjuvant recipients were less likely to undergo immediate reconstruction (odds ratio [OR], 0.57; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.37, 0.87) but were no more likely to undergo delayed reconstruction (OR, 1.29; 95% CI, 0.75, 2.20). Surgical complications occurred in 30% of neoadjuvant chemotherapy recipients and in 31% of adjuvant chemotherapy recipients.

CONCLUSIONS:

The current results suggest that patients who receive neoadjuvant chemotherapy are less likely to undergo immediate reconstruction and are no more likely to undergo delayed reconstruction than patients who undergo surgery before they receive chemotherapy. Cancer 2011. © 2011 American Cancer Society.