Research Papers:

Similar response profile to neoadjuvant chemotherapy, but different survival, in inflammatory versus locally advanced breast cancers

Audrey Monneur, Anthony Goncalves, Marine Gilabert, Pascal Finetti, Carole Tarpin, Christophe Zemmour, Jean-Marc Extra, Agnès Tallet, Eric Lambaudie, Jocelyne Jacquemier, Gilles Houvenaeghel, Jean-Marie Boher, Patrice Viens and François Bertucci _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:66019-66032. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19732

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Audrey Monneur1, Anthony Goncalves1,2, Marine Gilabert1, Pascal Finetti1, Carole Tarpin1, Christophe Zemmour3, Jean-Marc Extra1, Agnès Tallet4, Eric Lambaudie5, Jocelyne Jacquemier6, Gilles Houvenaeghel2,5, Jean-Marie Boher3, Patrice Viens1,2 and François Bertucci1,2

1Département d’Oncologie Médicale, Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Marseille (CRCM), Institut Paoli-Calmettes, Marseille, France

2Faculté de Médecine, Aix-Marseille Université, Marseille, France

3Département de la Recherche Clinique et de l’Innovation, Unité de Biostatistiques et Méthodologie, INSERM, IRD, Institut Paoli-Calmettes, Aix-Marseille Université, Marseille, France

4Département de Radiothérapie, Institut Paoli-Calmettes, Marseille, France

5Département d’Oncologie Chirurgicale, Institut Paoli-Calmettes, Marseille, France

6Département d’Anatomopathologie, Institut Paoli-Calmettes, Marseille, France

Correspondence to:

François Bertucci, email: [email protected]

Keywords: breast cancer, chemotherapy, inflammatory breast cancer, pathological response, survival

Received: May 17, 2017    Accepted: June 27, 2017    Published: July 31, 2017


Purpose: Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a very aggressive form of breast cancer, as compared to locally advanced breast cancer (LABC). Neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgery is the standard treatment in both cases. Whether IBC is less chemosensitive than LABC remains unclear. We retrospectively compared the rate of pathological complete response (pCR) to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in IBC and LABC. Methods: Patients with IBC or LABC treated with neoadjuvant anthracycline-based chemotherapy followed by surgery were selected from our institutional database. The primary endpoint was the pCR rate, defined as absence of invasive tumor in breast and axillary lymph nodes. Results: A total of 450 patients were included, 144 with IBC and 306 with LABC. The pCR rate was similar between the two groups, in the whole population (31%) and in each molecular subtype separately. Univariate analyses for pCR in IBC and LABC separately identified the same predictive variables, except the pathological type that was associated with pCR in LABC only, but not in IBC. IBC patients displayed shorter 5-year metastasis-free survival and overall survival than LABC patients in the whole population (57% and 69% versus74% and 88% respectively), and in each molecular subtype separately. The IBC phenotype was an independent prognostic feature. Similarly, IBC patients displayed shorter 5-year loco-regional relapse-free survival than LABC patients (86% versus 95%). Conclusions: Similar pCR rates to chemotherapy were found in IBC and LABC, suggesting that IBC is not less chemosensitive than LABC. Survival was shorter in IBC, suggesting that the corresponding poorer prognosis is more due to a higher metastatic risk and/or other feature(s) than to a lesser chemosensitivity.

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