Neo adjuvant therapy
surgical | oncology
adjuvant | neo adjuvant | hormonal | chemotherapy | radiotheraphy | follow-up

Neo Adjuvant Therapy

The use of primary medical (neo adjuvant) therapy for operable (Stages I and II) breast cancer is gaining momentum. Up to 70% of patients will have dramatic tumour regression; to the extent that mastectomy can be avoided, needing only a lumpectomy. Thus breast conservation is possible by using this therapy.

In contrast, neo adjuvant therapy may shrink a Stage III cancer so rapidly, that a previously inoperable tumour becomes operable. In addition, the fungating, foul smelling tumour may just melt away. Other advantages of starting with chemotherapy is that determining what chemotherapy the cancer is sensitive to but watching the tumour shrink limiting ineffective chemotherapy being given after the cancer has been removed.

The oncologist should start giving neo adjuvant therapy after a core biopsy diagnosis is undertaken so that information about the tumour biology is obtained as there are a percentage of patients (13%) who will have a complete response to chemotherapy. Marking of the cancer with a radio-opaque marker is also essentially as a percentage of cancers will become clinically not palpable.