neoadjuvant therapy to treat breast cancer

Written by: Dr. Martín Espinosa Bravo
Edited by: Top Doctors®

Neoadjuvant therapy in breast cancer is one that is performed prior to breast surgery. It can be done with chemotherapy or hormone therapy by. It is a treatment that has been used by specialists in Gynecology and Obstetrics in advanced breast cancer and in cases initially inoperable. More recently, this strategy has been extended to cases of operable breast cancer, especially to increase the chances of conservative surgery of the breast, by reducing tumor size.

Who can undergo neoadjuvant?

Treatment is not necessary for all patients. In certain cases, depending on the aggressiveness of the tumor, chemotherapy improves prognosis of patients. So its administration before surgery allows us to confirm the chemosensitivity of the tumor to treatment that the patient needs; in the same way that provides the opportunity to change the treatment in case of lack of response to it, a situation that often occurs shortly. On the other hand it is also indicated in situations where the tumor size in relation to breast volume does not allow input conservative treatment (which is the only tumor resection). In these situations neoadjuvant treatment reduces tumor size in order to preserve the breast with oncological safety.


What is neoadjuvant treatment?

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is done by infusing drugs intravenously. The duration of treatment will be given depending on the type of drugs used, which are administered in weekly or tri-weekly cycles over a period of about 6 months.Neoadjuvant hormonal therapy, however, is a treatment administered via tablets orally once a day. It is indicated in postmenopausal patients in which tumor expresses receptors for the hormones estrogen and / or progesterone, and whose size does not allow conservative treatment. The duration of treatment may vary between 6 and 8 months.Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is contraindicated in those patients who have any other disease that contraindicate the use of a particular drug. For example, in patients with heart failure may not use drugs that increase cardiac toxicity.


Results of neoadjuvant

The long - term results have shown that standard chemotherapy and neoadjuvant chemotherapy have similar benefits regarding survival rates and relapse. The advantages justify their use are given for a rate as to breast conservation. Statistics to suggest that 23% of patients requiring mastectomy and who underwent neoadjuvant therapy could benefit from a more conservative surgery.Furthermore, it is demonstrated that, in tumors that can be treated conservatively and require chemotherapy, reducing the size thereof by neoadjuvant therapy allows smaller breast volume resect. This improves the aesthetic result of the breast and thus the quality of life of patients.




*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. Martín Espinosa Bravo
Obstetrics & Gynecology

Dr. Espinosa Bravo is a renowned specialist in Gynecology and Obstetrics who has over 15 years of experience. Graduated from the University of Buenos Aires, he has completed his academic training at the Hospital Sant Joan de Deu de Barcelona, ​​where he obtained the specialty, and in Toulouse (France), where he specialized in Gynecologic Oncology and Breast Pathology. So today, Dr. Espinosa Bravo serves as an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer in the center UVOGYN and the Breast Cancer Hospital Universitario Vall d'Hebron, both in Barcelona Center. He also is a member of associations of national and international specialty.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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