The role of neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer treatment

Tadashi Ikeda, Hiromitsu Jinno, Akira Matsui, Shigeru Masamura, Masaki Kitajima

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Neoadjuvant chemotherapy has become popular, especially for patients with advanced breast cancer. The pros and cons of neoadjuvant chemotherapy for treating breast cancer patients are reviewed. The advantages of neoadjuvant chemotherapy are 1) overall survival and recurrence-free survival rate are the same as post-operative chemotherapy, 2) serves as an in vivo sensitivity test, 3) increases the rate of breast conserving therapy, 4) facilitates the study of cancer biology. On the other hand, the disadvantages of neoadjuvant chemotherapy are 1) it modifies the stage, 2) treatment delay of PD cases, 3) residual intraductal component may be left behind after breast conserving surgery, 4) there are some cases of over-treatment. Combination chemotherapy is one possible way to increase the pathological CR rate, although the optimal order and cycles have not been determined. To avoid residual cancer cells after breast conserving surgery, the shrinkage pattern should be evaluated by MRI. Core needle biopsy should be performed before neoadjuvant chemotherapy to avoid over-treatment. It is essential to develop more effective regimens and stratify patients based on predictive factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-14
Number of pages7
JournalBreast Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Jan


  • Breast cancer
  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy
  • Preoperative chemotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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