Long-term follow-up for locally advanced and inflammatory breast cancer patients treated with multimodality therapy

Jennifer A. Low, Arlene W. Berman, Seth M. Steinberg, David N. Danforth, Marc E. Lippman, Sandra M. Swain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

168 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine long-term event-free (EFS) and overall survival (OS) for patients with stage III breast cancer treated with combined-modality therapy. Patients and Methods: Between 1980 and 1988, 107 patients with stage III breast cancer were prospectively enrolled for study at the National Cancer Institute and stratified by whether or not they had features of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). Patients were treated to best response with cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, methotrexate, fluorouracil, leucovorin, and hormonal synchronization with conjugated estrogens and tamoxifen. Patients with pathologic complete response received definitive radiotherapy to the breast and axilla, whereas patients with residual disease underwent mastectomy, lymph node dissection, and radiotherapy. All patients underwent six additional cycles of adjuvant chemotherapy. Results: OS and EFS were obtained with a median live patient follow-up time of 16.8 years. The 46 IBC patients had a median OS of 3.8 years and EFS of 2.3 years, compared with 12.2 and 9.0 years, respectively, in stage IIIA breast cancer patients. Fifteen-year OS survival was 20% for IBC versus 50% for stage IIIA patients and 23% for stage IIIB non-IBC. Pathologic response was not associated with improved survival for stage IIIA or IBC patients. Presence of dermal lymphatic invasion did not change the probability of survival in clinical IBC patients. Conclusion: Fifteen-year follow-up of stage IIIA and inflammatory breast cancer is rarely reported; IBC patients have a poor long-term outlook.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4067-4074
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number20
StatePublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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