Accuracy of mammography and echography versus clinical palpation in the assessment of response to primary chemotherapy in breast cancer patients with operable disease.
ABSTRACT The response to primary chemotherapy is an important prognostic factor in patients with non metastatic breast cancer. In this study we compared the assessment of response performed by clinical palpation to that performed by echography and mammography in 141 out of 157 consecutive breast cancer patients (T2-4, N0-1, M0) submitted to primary chemotherapy. A low relationship was recorded between tumor size assessed clinically and that evaluated by either mammography: Spearman R = 0.38 or echography: R = 0.24, while a greater correlation was found between the tumor dimension obtained by the two imaging techniques (R = 0.62). According to the WHO criteria, the grade of response of breast cancer to primary chemotherapy, showed by mammography and echography, was less marked than the grade of response seen at clinical examination. Residual tumor size assessed clinically depicted a stronger correlation with pathological findings (R = 0.68) than the residual disease assessed by echography (R = 0.29) and mammography (R = 0.33). Post-chemotherapy histology evaluation revealed pathological complete response in three cases (2.1%). Two of these cases were judged as complete responders by clinical palpation but only one was recognized by mammography, and none by echography. Clinical response, but not the response obtained by the two imaging techniques, was a significant predictor for longer disease free survival (p = 0.04). To conclude, physical examination measurements remain the method of choice in evaluating preoperatively the disease response in trials of primary chemotherapy. Prediction of pathological outcome is not improved by echography and mammography.
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ABSTRACT: To determine, in women with primary operable breast cancer, if preoperative doxorubicin (Adriamycin) and cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan; AC) therapy yields a better outcome than postoperative AC therapy, if a relationship exists between outcome and tumor response to preoperative chemotherapy, and if such therapy results in the performance of more lumpectomies. Women (1,523) enrolled onto National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) B-18 were randomly assigned to preoperative or postoperative AC therapy. Clinical tumor response to preoperative therapy was graded as complete (cCR), partial (cPR), or no response (cNR). Tumors with a cCR were further categorized as either pathologic complete response (pCR) or invasive cells (pINV). Disease-free survival (DFS), distant disease-free survival (DDFS), and survival were estimated through 5 years and compared between treatment groups. In the preoperative arm, proportional-hazards models were used to investigate the relationship between outcome and tumor response. There was no significant difference in DFS, DDFS, or survival (P = .99, .70, and .83, respectively) among patients in either group. More patients treated preoperatively than postoperatively underwent lumpectomy and radiation therapy (67.8% v 59.8%, respectively). Rates of ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence (IBTR) after lumpectomy were similar in both groups (7.9% and 5.8%, respectively; P = .23). Outcome was better in women whose tumors showed a pCR than in those with a pINV, cPR, or cNR (relapse-free survival [RFS] rates, 85.7%, 76.9%, 68.1%, and 63.9%, respectively; P < .0001), even when baseline prognostic variables were controlled. When prognostic models were compared for each treatment group, the preoperative model, which included breast tumor response as a variable, discriminated outcome among patients to about the same degree as the postoperative model. Preoperative chemotherapy is as effective as postoperative chemotherapy, permits more lumpectomies, is appropriate for the treatment of certain patients with stages I and II disease, and can be used to study breast cancer biology. Tumor response to preoperative chemotherapy correlates with outcome and could be a surrogate for evaluating the effect of chemotherapy on micrometastases; however, knowledge of such a response provided little prognostic information beyond that which resulted from postoperative therapy.Journal of Clinical Oncology 08/1998; 16(8):2672-85. · 18.04 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to correlate physical examination and sonographic and mammographic measurements of breast tumors and regional lymph nodes with pathological findings and to evaluate the effect of neoadjuvant chemotherapy on clinical Tumor-Node-Metastasis stage by noninvasive methods. This was a retrospective analysis of 100 patients with locally advanced breast cancer registered and treated in prospective trials of neoadjuvant chemotherapy. All patients received four cycles of a doxorubicin-containing regimen and had noninvasive evaluation of the primary tumor and regional lymph nodes before and after neoadjuvant chemotherapy by physical examination, sonography, and mammography and underwent breast surgery and axillary dissection within 5 weeks after completion of neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The correlations between clinical and pathological measurements were determined by Spearman rank correlation analysis. A proportional odds model was used to examine predictive values. Eighty-three patients had both a clinically detectable primary tumor and lymph node metastases. Sixty-four patients had a decrease in Tumor-Node-Metastasis stage after chemotherapy. For 54% of patients, there was concordance in clinical response between the primary tumor and lymph node compartment; for the rest, results were discordant. Physical examination correlated best with pathological findings in the measurement of the primary tumor (P = 0.0003), whereas sonography was the most accurate predictor of size for axillary lymph nodes (P = 0.0005). The combination of physical examination and mammography worked best for assessment of the primary tumor (P = 0.003), whereas combining physical examination with sonography gave optimal evaluation of regional lymph nodes (P = 0.0001). In conclusion, physical examination is the best noninvasive predictor of the real size of locally advanced primary breast cancer, whereas sonography correlates better with the real dimensions of axillary lymph nodes. The combination of physical examination with either mammography or sonography significantly improves the accuracy of noninvasive assessment of tumor dimensions.Clinical Cancer Research 10/1997; 3(9):1565-9. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Accurate assessment of response to treatment is necessary to treat appropriately primary breast cancers that are not surgically removed. This retrospective study was undertaken to compare the effectiveness of physical examination (PE) and mammography to assess response of primary breast cancer to medical therapy in women who were ineligible for initial surgical treatment. Thirteen women with 14 breast carcinomas were evaluated for interval changes. Except for 1 patient who had two follow-up studies, the other 12 each had a single follow-up study including PE and mammography; changes therefore were assessed in 15 instances. Response to treatment also was judged by mastectomy results in two instances, changes in metastatic disease by other imaging procedures in five, and changes in primary tumor by computed tomography in two breasts. In 11 of 15 assessments of posttherapy changes, PE and mammography results were similar concerning treatment response. Of four discordant follow-ups, the tumors were found to be stable by PE, whereas they were found to be increasing by mammography in two. In both of these cases, progression of disease outside the breast was identified by other imaging studies, consistent with the mammographic findings. In another case, disease appeared to regress by PE but was unchanged by mammography; disease extent in mastectomy specimens was consistent with that found mammographically and more extensive than that suggested by physical examination. In the fourth case, superficial healing of a fungating tumor was obvious by clinical examination but could not be appreciated by mammography. The detectability of changes was not related to type of treatment. Physical examination and mammography are both useful in the serial evaluation of breast cancers. Although usually complimentary, disease progression, when it occurs, may be detected by only one of these methods.Cancer 05/1995; 75(8):2093-8. · 5.20 Impact Factor