Vol 71, No 1 (2021)
Review paper
Published online: 2021-02-05

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Neoadjuvant therapy for breast cancer patients and its impact on surgical treatment and radiotherapy (part 1.)

Zbigniew I. Nowecki1, Agnieszka Jagiełło-Gruszfeld1, Katarzyna Pogoda1, Anna Niwińska1, Wojciech P. Olszewski2, Paweł Winter1, Rafał Matkowski34, Wojciech M. Wysocki567
Nowotwory. Journal of Oncology 2021;71(1):17-25.


Neoadjuvant therapy (NAT) is increasingly applied in patients with initially inoperable breast cancers and, frequently, in those with tumours that are initially operable, too. In most cases, the response to the applied NAT affects the scope of surgical treatment and radiotherapy, and in some situations also the complementary systemic postoperative treatment. The available studies indicate importance of response to NAT within the breast and regional lymph nodes. Assessment of response to treatment allows personalization of treatment and in some cases a change of therapy, which improves long-term outcomes.

This article summarizes the current rules of conduct in patients with early breast cancer qualified for neoadjuvant thera­py, paying attention to the practical aspects and possibilities of national health insurance-covered therapies in Poland. It discusses in detail the applied regimens of systemic therapy, surgical techniques, eligibility rules and complementary radiotherapy. Systems for assessing response to neoadjuvant treatment are also presented.

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Nowotwory. Journal of Oncology