Concurrent chemoradiotherapy for locally advanced breast cancer—time for a new paradigm?

V. Mandilaras, N. Bouganim, J. Spayne, R. Dent, A. Arnaout, J.F. Boileau, M. Brackstone, S. Meterissian, M. Clemons



In cases of locally advanced breast cancer (labc), preoperative (“neoadjuvant”) therapy was traditionally reserved to render the patient operable. More recently, neoadjuvant therapy, particularly chemotherapy, is being used in patients with operable disease to increase the opportunity for breast conservation. Despite the increasing use of preoperative chemotherapy, rates of pathologic complete response, a surrogate marker for disease-free survival, remain modest in patients with locally advanced disease and particularly so when the tumour is estrogen or progesterone receptor–positive and her2-negative. A new paradigm for labc patients is needed. In other solid tumours (for example, rectal, esophageal, and lung cancers), concurrent chemoradiotherapy (ccrt) is routinely used in neoadjuvant and adjuvant treatment protocols alike.


The literature suggests that ccrt in labc patients with inoperable disease is associated with response rates higher than would be anticipated with systemic therapy alone.


Ongoing trials in this field are eagerly awaited to determine if ccrt should become the new paradigm.


breast cancer; concurrent chemoradiotherapy; neoadjuvant therapy; locally advanced disease

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ISSN: 1198-0052 (Print) ISSN: 1718-7729 (Online)