Axillary Pathologic Complete Response After Neoadjuvant Systemic Therapy by Breast Cancer Subtype in Patients With Initially Clinically Node-Positive Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

S. Samiei*, J.M. Simons, S.M.E. Engelen, R.G.H. Beets-Tan, J.M. Classe, M.L. Smidt, EUBREAST Group

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

25 Citations (Web of Science)
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Abstract

This systematic review and meta-analysis pools data from studies in the neoadjuvant setting on axillary pathologic complete response rates for different breast cancer subtypes in patients with initial clinically node-positive disease.Importance An overview of rates of axillary pathologic complete response (pCR) for all breast cancer subtypes, both for patients with and without pathologically proven clinically node-positive disease, is lacking. Objective To provide pooled data of all studies in the neoadjuvant setting on axillary pCR rates for different breast cancer subtypes in patients with initially clinically node-positive disease. Data Sources The electronic databases Embase and PubMed were used to conduct a systematic literature search on July 16, 2020. The references of the included studies were manually checked to identify other eligible studies. Study Selection Studies in the neoadjuvant therapy setting were identified regarding axillary pCR for different breast cancer subtypes in patients with initially clinically node-positive disease (ie, defined as node-positive before the initiation of neoadjuvant systemic therapy). Data Extraction and Synthesis Two reviewers independently selected eligible studies according to the inclusion criteria and extracted all data. All discrepant results were resolved during a consensus meeting. To identify the different subtypes, the subtype definitions as reported by the included articles were used. The random-effects model was used to calculate the overall pooled estimate of axillary pCR for each breast cancer subtype. Main Outcomes and Measures The main outcome of this study was the rate of axillary pCR and residual axillary lymph node disease after neoadjuvant systemic therapy for different breast cancer subtypes, differentiating studies with and without patients with pathologically proven clinically node-positive disease. Results This pooled analysis included 33 unique studies with 57 531 unique patients and showed the following axillary pCR rates for each of the 7 reported subtypes in decreasing order: 60% for hormone receptor (HR)-negative/ERBB2 (formerly HER2)-positive, 59% for ERBB2-positive (HR-negative or HR-positive), 48% for triple-negative, 45% for HR-positive/ERBB2-positive, 35% for luminal B, 18% for HR-positive/ERBB2-negative, and 13% for luminal A breast cancer. No major differences were found in the axillary pCR rates per subtype by analyzing separately the studies of patients with and without pathologically proven clinically node-positive disease before neoadjuvant systemic therapy. Conclusions and Relevance The HR-negative/ERBB2-positive subtype was associated with the highest axillary pCR rate. These data may help estimate axillary treatment response in the neoadjuvant setting and thus select patients for more or less invasive axillary procedures.Question What are the rates of axillary pathologic complete response (pCR) for different breast cancer subtypes in patients with initially clinically node-positive breast cancer? Findings This systematic review and meta-analysis, including 33 unique studies with 57 531 unique patients, showed that the hormone receptor (HR)-negative/ERBB2-positive subtype was associated with the highest axillary pCR rate (60%). The remaining subtypes were associated with the following axillary pCR rates in decreasing order: 59% for ERBB2-positive, 48% for triple-negative, 45% for HR-positive/ERBB2-positive, 35% for luminal B, 18% for HR-positive/ERBB2-negative, and 13% for luminal A breast cancer. Meaning These data can help estimate axillary treatment response in the neoadjuvant setting and thus select patients for more or less invasive axillary procedures.
Original languageEnglish
Article number210891
Number of pages14
JournalJAMA Surgery
Volume156
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • SURGICAL ADJUVANT BREAST
  • PREOPERATIVE CHEMOTHERAPY
  • TUMOR BIOLOGY
  • F-18-FDG PET/CT
  • LYMPH-NODES
  • BIOPSY
  • METASTASES
  • SURGERY
  • MANAGEMENT
  • IMPACT

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