Background: Neoadjuvant therapy aims to preoperatively downstage breast cancer patients. We evaluated nodal upstaging in clinically node-negative (cN0) patients receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) and neoadjuvant endocrine therapy (NET). Methods: cN0 patients undergoing neoadjuvant therapy from 2009 to 2018 were reviewed. Univariate and multivariate analyses evaluated rates of nodal upstaging. Results: A total of 228 cN0 patients with a mean age of 55 years underwent neoadjuvant therapy for Stage I-III invasive carcinoma. Subtypes included ER+/HER2- = 93 (40%), HER2+ = 61 (27%), and triple negative (TNBC) = 74 (33%). Among ER+/HER2- patients, 65 (70%) underwent NET. Overall, 49 patients (21%) were upstaged due to occult nodal disease. Factors associated with higher rates of occult nodal disease included advanced stage on initial presentation (P = .008), larger presenting tumor size (P = .009), low/intermediate tumor grade (P = .025), and ER+/HER2- subtype (P < .001); incidence of occult nodal disease by subtype included: ER+/HER2- = 37%, HER2+ = 15%, TNBC = 8%. Patients experiencing a breast pCR had a significantly lower rate of nodal upstaging compared to those with residual tumor (4% vs. 96%, P < .001). On multivariate analysis, ER+/HER- patients exhibited higher risk of occult nodal disease when compared to patients with HER2+ (odds ratio [OR] = 3.4, 95% CI, 1.2-9.8, P = .003) and TNBC (OR = 5.7, 95% CI, 1.7-19.6, P = .003). Comparing NAC vs. NET in ER+/HER2- patients showed no difference in rates of occult nodal disease (39% vs. 35%, P = .13). Conclusions: ER+/HER2- subtype carries higher risk for occult nodal disease after neoadjuvant therapy; NAC versus NET in these patients does not affect nodal upstaging.
- Neoadjuvant chemotherapy
- Neoadjuvant endocrine therapy
- Pathologic response
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research