Clinical Edge

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Axillary Pathologic Complete Response

Long-term effect in women with breast cancer

Axillary pathologic complete response (pCR) was associated with improved 10-year overall survival (OS) and relapse-free survival (RFS) in a study of 1,600 women who received a diagnosis of breast cancer stages II to III with cytologically confirmed axillary metastases and who received primary systemic chemotherapy (PST). Researchers found:

• A total of 454 patients (28.4%) achieved axillary pCR.

• Patients with axillary and breast pCR after PST had superior long-term survival outcomes.

• Patients undergoing HER2-targeted therapy for HER2-positive disease had high rates of axillary pCR, and those with axillary pCR had excellent 10-year OS.

Citation: Mougalian SS, Hernandez M, Lei X, et al. Ten-year outcomes of patients with breast cancer with cytologically confirmed axillary lymph node metastases and pathologic complete response after primary systemic chemotherapy. [Published online ahead of print December 30, 2015]. JAMA Oncol. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.4935.