Better overall survival in patients who achieve pathological complete response after neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer in a Chilean public hospital

11 Feb 2021
Francisco Acevedo, Militza Petric, Benjamín Walbaum, Julieta Robin, Luisa Legorburu, Geraldine Murature, Constanza Guerra, Marisel Navarro, María José Canovas, Cesar Sánchez, Lorena Vargas, Manuel Manzor, José Peña, Sabrina Muñiz, Paulina Veglia, Raúl Cartes, Raúl Martinez

Introduction: There is extensive evidence associating the response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NeoCT) with breast cancer (BC) survival. However, to the author’s knowledge, there is no published data in Chile. The objective of the study is to evaluate whether achieving pathological complete response (pCR) after NeoCT is associated with greater survival and lower risk of recurrence in a Chilean Public Health Service.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of a database. Patients with a diagnosis of Stages I–III BC who received NeoCT between 2009 and 2019 were included. Clinical and pathological information were extracted from the clinical records. BC subtypes were defined using hormone receptor (HR) information (HR: oestrogen and/or progesterone) and epidermal growth factor type 2 (HER2), being divided into four groups: HR /HER2−, HR /HER2 , HR−/HER2 , HR-/HER2−. pCR was defined as the absence of invasive cancer in the breast and axilla (ypT0/is N0) after NeoCT.

Results: Of 3,092 patients, 17.2% received NeoCT. Of these, 40.2% corresponded to HR /HER2−, 20.9% HR /HER2 , 18.2% HR−/HER2 and 20.7% HR−/HER2−. Overall, 24.8% achieved pCR, being the lowest for HR /HER2− (10.3%) and the highest for HR−/HER2 (53.2%). In the multivariable analysis, family history, HER2 and type of chemotherapy were associated with a greater probability of pCR. With a median follow-up of 40 months, the overall survival and metastasis-free survival (MFS) at 3 years were greater for the group with pCR compared to that which did not achieve it (90.5% versus 76.7%, p = 0.03 and 88.5% versus 71.4%, p = 0.003, respectively). The multivariable analysis confirmed this finding. Brain MFS was similar in both groups.

Conclusion: NeoCT is associated with greater pCR in aggressive BC subtypes. In those, achieving pCR was associated with better survival in our study. To the author’s knowledge, this is the first study which evaluates the relation between pCR and BC subtypes in a Chilean public hospital.