• Forty patients with 41 locally advanced breast lesions at stages IIIA and IIIB and the inflammatory stage were treated with combined-modality therapy from July 1980 to August 1985. Treatment included induction chemotherapy consisting of three cycles of fluorouracil, doxorubicin hydrochloride, and cyclophosphamide, followed by mastectomy in those patients whose lesions were operable (n=28), and resumption of chemotherapy. Nine patients received postoperative radiation therapy. The mean follow-up was 34 months. Greater than 50% reduction in tumor size was achieved in 72% of patients after three cycles of chemotherapy. Overall, local control was achieved in 85% of patients with 59% survival and 53% disease-free survival, while 10% of patients developed local recurrences. Excluding lymphedema of the upper extremity (n=2) and inflammatory carcinomas (n=4), local control was achieved in 96% of patients, with 75% survival and 68% disease-free survival, while 4% of patients developed local recurrences. The rate of disease-free survival was 71% in patients with partial response to chemotherapy, contrasted with 43% in patients who did not respond or only minimally responded to chemotherapy. Actuarial five-year survival, based on life-table analysis, was calculated to be 46% for the group overall, 58% for the group excluding lymphedema of the upper extremity and inflammatory carcinoma, and 56% for the 28 patients undergoing mastectomy.
(Arch Surg 1988;123:951-955)