Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy, Endocrine Therapy, and Targeted Therapy for Breast Cancer: ASCO Guideline

Larissa A. Korde, Mark R. Somerfield, Lisa A. Carey, Jennie R. Crews, Neelima Denduluri, E. Shelley Hwang, Seema A. Khan, Sibylle Loibl, Elizabeth A. Morris, Alejandra Perez, Meredith M. Regan, Patricia A. Spears, Preeti K. Sudheendra, W. Fraser Symmans, Rachel L. Yung, Brittany E. Harvey, Dawn L. Hershman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: To develop guideline recommendations concerning optimal neoadjuvant therapy for breast cancer. METHODS: ASCO convened an Expert Panel to conduct a systematic review of the literature on neoadjuvant therapy for breast cancer and provide recommended care options. RESULTS: A total of 41 articles met eligibility criteria and form the evidentiary basis for the guideline recommendations. RECOMMENDATIONS: Patients undergoing neoadjuvant therapy should be managed by a multidisciplinary care team. Appropriate candidates for neoadjuvant therapy include patients with inflammatory breast cancer and those in whom residual disease may prompt a change in therapy. Neoadjuvant therapy can also be used to reduce the extent of local therapy or reduce delays in initiating therapy. Although tumor histology, grade, stage, and estrogen, progesterone, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) expression should routinely be used to guide clinical decisions, there is insufficient evidence to support the use of other markers or genomic profiles. Patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) who have clinically node-positive and/or at least T1c disease should be offered an anthracycline- and taxane-containing regimen; those with cT1a or cT1bN0 TNBC should not routinely be offered neoadjuvant therapy. Carboplatin may be offered to patients with TNBC to increase pathologic complete response. There is currently insufficient evidence to support adding immune checkpoint inhibitors to standard chemotherapy. In patients with hormone receptor (HR)-positive (HR-positive), HER2-negative tumors, neoadjuvant chemotherapy can be used when a treatment decision can be made without surgical information. Among postmenopausal patients with HR-positive, HER2-negative disease, hormone therapy can be used to downstage disease. Patients with node-positive or high-risk node-negative, HER2-positive disease should be offered neoadjuvant therapy in combination with anti-HER2-positive therapy. Patients with T1aN0 and T1bN0, HER2-positive disease should not be routinely offered neoadjuvant therapy.Additional information is available at

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1485-1505
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology
Issue number13
StatePublished - May 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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