Adjuvant therapy for breast cancer: Recommendations for management based on consensus review and recent clinical trials

Betty A. Mincey, Frances M. Palmieri, Edith A. Perez

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Determining the optimal individual adjuvant systemic therapy for breast cancer patients is a challenging undertaking because it requires translating data from clinical trials that have involved thousands of patients into a highly individualized, risk-adjusted approach for the patient at hand. Choosing adjuvant therapy for women with breast cancer includes consideration of four issues: A) evaluation of risk of relapse; B) extrapolation of results from clinical trials; C) therapeutic ratio, and D) the patient's preferences following a thorough discussion with her physician. Data from recently completed phase HI adjuvant trials and worldwide consensus conferences document the benefits of adjuvant therapy in improving disease-free survival and overall survival for patients diagnosed with invasive breast cancer >1.0 cm in size. The benefits of hormonal therapy are clear, but limited to patients with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. Anthracyclines lead to improved outcomes compared with nonanthracycline regimens. Taxanes appear to improve disease-free survival in patients with node-positive disease, although longer follow-up is required to assess their impact on overall survival. Some countries have reported a reduction in the mortality rate from breast cancer over the past several years. The improved survival rate is due, at least in part, to the use of adjuvant systemic therapy. Ongoing studies are evaluating targeted therapies, with the potential of remarkably improving patient outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-250
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002


  • Adjuvant therapy
  • Anthracyclines
  • Breast cancer
  • Taxanes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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