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Sixty-eight patients with inflammatory breast carcinoma (IBC) received treatment in 2 prospective randomized trials of multimodality therapy for locally advanced breast cancer. The treatment plan consisted of 3 courses of neoadjuvant chemotherapy with CAF (cyclophosphamide/doxorubicin/5-fluorouracil [5-FU]) or CEF (cyclophosphamide/ epirubicin/5-FU) followed by surgery and 6 adjuvant courses of CAF or CEF alternated with CMF (cyclophosphamide/methotrexate/5-FU). Radiation therapy was administered at the end of adjuvant treatment. All patients with estrogen receptor—positive tumors received tamoxifen 20 mg daily for 5 years. The response rate to induction chemotherapy was 73.6% (95% CI, 61.4%–83.5%): 4 of 68 patients (6%) exhibited a pathologic remission of primary breast tumor (persistent disease in the axilla), and 2 patients (3%) exhibited a pathologic complete response. Median follow-up was 10 years (range, 5 months to 14.7 years). Diseasefree survival (DFS) rates at 5 and 10 years were 29% and 20%, respectively, and median DFS was 2.2 years (range, 3.8 months to 11.5 years). Overall survival (OS) rates at 5 and 10 years were 44% and 32%, respectively, and median OS was 4 years (range, 5 months to 14.7 years). Significant prognostic factors for DFS and OS were the number of axillary nodes and residual disease in the breast at surgery. This analysis confirmed that patients with IBC obtained significant long-term survival benefit from combined-modality therapy.
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Accepted: October 16, 2003
Received in revised form: October 6, 2003
Received: July 17, 2003
© 2004 Elsevier Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.