Adjuvant versus neoadjuvant chemotherapy in triple-negative breast cancer patients with BRCA mutations

Katherine Clifton, Angelica Gutierrez-Barrera, Junsheng Ma, Roland Bassett, Jennifer Litton, Henry Kuerer, Stacy Moulder, Constance Albarracin, Gabriel Hortobagyi, Banu Arun

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19 Scopus citations


Purpose: As triple-negative breast cancers are associated with earlier recurrences and poorer survival, optimal treatment of early-stage breast cancer is essential. Several retrospective studies in triple-negative breast cancer have reported conflicting results in overall survival in patients receiving neoadjuvant or adjuvant systemic therapy. This study aims to analyze outcomes of adjuvant versus neoadjuvant in patients with early-stage triple-negative breast cancer with and without BRCA germline mutations. Methods: Patients with stage I or II triple-negative breast cancer who had BRCA testing were identified from a prospective cohort study of 4027 patients. Clinical, demographic, genetic test results, chemotherapy, recurrence, and survival data were analyzed. Overall survival and disease-free survival were estimated using the Kaplan–Meier method. Results: 319 patients with stage I and II triple-negative breast cancer who met eligibility criteria were included in the analysis. 187 received adjuvant chemotherapy (58.6%) and 132 received neoadjuvant chemotherapy (41.4%). 135 were BRCA positive (42.3%) and 184 were BRCA negative (57.7%). There was no significant association between overall survival or disease-free survival and treatment with neoadjuvant versus adjuvant in the overall cohort. Furthermore, there were no significant differences between patient subgroups (neoadjuvant BRCA positive, neoadjuvant BRCA negative, adjuvant BRCA positive, and adjuvant BRCA negative) with respect to either overall survival or disease-free survival. Conclusions: Neoadjuvant versus adjuvant with standard anthracycline- and taxane-containing regimens results in similar disease-free survival and overall survival among patients with stage I and II triple-negative breast cancer regardless of BRCA status. Further studies are needed to evaluate whether similar results are observed with newer agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-109
Number of pages9
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018


  • Adjuvant chemotherapy
  • BRCA mutation
  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy
  • Triple-negative breast cancer


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