Accuracy of mammography and echography versus clinical palpation in the assessment of response to primary chemotherapy in breast cancer patients with operable disease.

Dipartimento di Radiologia, Azienda Ospedaliera Istituti Ospitalieri Cremona, Italy.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment (Impact Factor: 4.47). 10/2001; 69(2):143-51. DOI: 10.1023/A:1012277325168
Source: PubMed

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.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background:The objective of this study was to determine the optimal scheduling of 2.5 mg daily letrozole in neoadjuvant breast cancer patients to obtain pathological complete response (pathCR) and assess Ki-67 expression as an early predictor of response.Patients and methods:This single institution study comprised 120 oestrogen receptor (ER)-positive postmenopausal women with primary breast cancer (clinical stage T2, N0-1), from three sequential cohorts (cohort A of 40, cohort B of 40 and cohort C of 40 patients, respectively) based on different duration of the neoadjuvant letrozole. Biological markers such as ER, progesterone receptor, HER2 and Ki-67 expression were tested at diagnosis and at definitive surgery.Results:A total of 89 patients (75.4%) achieved an objective response with 44 (37.3%) clinical CRs and 45 (38.1%) partial responses. The clinical CRs were significantly observed in cohort C (23 out of 40 patients, 57.5%) and B (16 out of 38 patients, 42.1%) compared with cohort A (5 out of 40 patients, 12.5%) (P-value for trend <0.001). Letrozole induced a similar significant reduction in Ki-67 index after treatment in all cohorts. The pathCR rate was significantly more frequent in cohort C (7 out of 40 patients, 17.5%) than in cohort A (1 out of 40 patients, 2.5%) and B (2 out of 40 patients, 5.0%) (P-value for trend <0.04).Conclusion:One-year neoadjuvant letrozole therapy leads to a higher pathCR rate and may be the optimal length of drug exposure.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication, 11 April 2013; doi:10.1038/bjc.2013.151
    British Journal of Cancer 04/2013; · 5.08 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To evaluate any differences between the percentages of involved breast volume, pathologic attributes, and tumor marker expression of T3 and T4a-c tumors in locally advanced breast cancers (BC). All patients with T3N > 0 and T4a-c BC without evidence of distant metastasis (M0), presenting to the Breast Clinic from 1980 to 2010, were examined to determine whether their BC's involved ≥ 50% of their breast volumes, defined by gross replacement of at least one hemisphere. Core needle biopsy or post-mastectomy specimens from tumors involving a known percent of breast volume were evaluated for: (1) pathological grades and lympho-vascular invasion (LVI); (2) hormone receptor (ER/PR) expression > 0; and (3) epidermoid growth factor 2 (her2) over-expression (3+) by immune-histochemical staining or fluorescent in situ hybridization. The data base included 98 patients with T3N> 0 M0 and 120 with T4a-c, any N disease, M0 disease. T3 tumor masses involved 50% or more of the breast in 23/98 (24%), and T4a-c tumors 65/120 (54%) (P < 0.001). Only 1% of T3 tumors and 23% of T4a-c tumors presented with total breast replacement. There were no significant differences between the pathological attributes and marker expression of the T3 and T4a-c tumors. These data suggest that erosion of the overlying skin or underlying chest wall by some BC may be due to neglect and delay, rather than inherent biological aggressiveness.
    World journal of clinical oncology. 03/2012; 3(3):43-7.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Investigate the patterns of mammographically detected calcifications before and after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) to determine their value for efficacy evaluation and surgical decision making. 187 patients with malignant mammographic calcifications were followed to record the appearances and changes in the calcifications and to analyze their responses to NACT. Patients with calcifications had higher rates of hormonal receptor (HR) positive tumors (74.3% versus 64.6%) and HER2 positive tumors (51.3% versus 33.4%, p = 0.004) and a similar pathologic complete response (pCR) rate compared to patients without calcifications (35.4% versus 29.8%). After NACT, the range of calcification decreased in 40% of patients, increased in 7.5% and remained stable in 52.5%; the calcification density decreased in 15% of patients, increased in 7.5% and remained stable in 77.5%; none of these change patterns were related to tumor response rate. No significant correlation was observed between the calcification appearance (morphology, distribution, range, diameter or density) and tumor subtypes or pCR rates. Among patients with malignant calcifications, 54 showed calcifications alone, 40 occurred with an architectural distortion (AD) and 93 with a mass. Calcifications were observed inside the tumor in 44% of patients and outside in 56%, with similar pCR rates and patterns of change. Calcification appearance did not clearly change after NACT, and calcification patterns were not related to pCR rate, suggesting that mammogram may not accurate to evaluate tumor response changes. Microcalcifications visible after NACT is essential for determining the extent of excision, patients with calcifications that occurred outside of the mass still had the opportunity for breast conservation.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(2):e88853. · 3.73 Impact Factor