• Historically, the prognosis of inflammatory breast cancer has been poor. We conducted a retrospective review to evaluate the recent Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center experience, to evaluate the role of combination chemotherapy, and to compare the effect of surgery and radiation on local/regional failure. Fifty-six patients with local/regional inflammatory breast cancer diagnosed between 1975 and 1984 were identified. All were treated with combination chemotherapy. Overall 5-year survival was 45%, with a 5-year disease-free survival rate of 37%. Twenty-one patients were treated with induction chemotherapy followed by mastectomy and adjuvant chemotherapy. Survival and diseasefree survival rates were similar to those achieved in patients treated with mastectomy followed by chemotherapy. Residual cancer was found in all 21 patients treated with induction chemotherapy, with extensive disease present in 18, including six of seven complete responders. The local/regional failure rate was 34%.
(Arch Surg. 1991;126:304-306)