New Clinical Trends in the Adjuvant Therapy of Early Stage Breast Cancer
Author: Singletary, S. Eva
Source: Acta Oncologica, Volume 37, Number 5, 28 October 1998 , pp. 411-419(9)
Publisher: Informa Healthcare
Abstract:Recent clinical trials of adjuvant therapy for early stage breast cancer support two general observations. First, overall survival is not impacted by the extent of surgery. Low rates of axillary relapse in patients treated with total mastectomy alone combined with the availability of systemic therapy as a substitute for surgical control of the axilla mean that patients can often be spared the morbidity of axillary node dissection. In problematic cases, newer diagnostic approaches, such as sentinel node biopsy, can help in making appropriate treatment decisions. Second, systemic therapy can reduce the clinical manifestations of disease. The incorporation of more sophisticated approaches to predicting outcomes, to varying timing and dose of treatment, and to developing new modalities of treatment, including immunotherapy, will contribute to a general strategy aimed at reducing the tumor to a harmless parasite. These observations support a paradigm shift in our definition of 'adjuvant'. Rather than referring to the use of systemic therapy after the patient's known disease has been surgically removed, adjuvant therapy would be re-defined to refer to local therapy used to eradicate any residual tumor remaining after systemic therapy has been completed.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: October 28, 1998